Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Blu-ray Review

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

A-ha!

Though, given the title of Steve Coogan’s most iconic comic creation’s first film, perhaps al-pha is a little more appropriate.

The year is 2013, but don’t tell that to Norfolk’s favourite broadcasting institution.

Or his radio and in-car playlist.

The glory of the eighties is where Alan Partridge longs to be, and even though this has gone through something of a bizarre renaissance of late, artists like Roachford have yet to be invited to the party.

And the way that makes me feel is very good indeed.

Of course, this leaves a relic such as Partridge looking as lost as if he’d accidentally got stuck in tree bearing a sweet fruit that belongs to the apple family.

So when his beloved radio station is taken over by some modern digital media upstarts, our Alan takes some pretty desperate action to make sure he isn’t left high and dry by his new employers.

And the consequences for Norfolk are pretty, well, middling.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa sees Steve Coogan’s most popular tv creation finally make its way to the big screen.

As someone who was born in the eighties, I remember Alan Partridge’s glory days all too well; from his wheels of cheese, via ladyboy chasers and who could forget those fantastical dream sequences of our washed up tv show host lap-dancing for BBC bigwigs in leather posing pouch and non-matching old man’s jumper?

Not me, and I really tried.

Playing it desperate yet horribly and beautifully straight was Alan Partridge and Coogan at their very best.

But success seemed to alter his take on the character, with the comedian increasingly looking like he was and worst of all wanted to be in on the joke.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

The result is there for all to see in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.

Partridge is still laugh out loud funny, most hilariously when his mind drifts away into one of his new surreal flights of fantasy, but instead of playing it straight Coogan now cuts a rather sad caricature of his most beloved character.

It’s still funny, when are the farcical failings of an aging man desperate to recapture the success and exposure from his youth not?

But it’s not as good as it used to be.

Perhaps inevitably, the originality of Alan Partridge has waned and Coogan would be better served leaving Alpha Papa as a final flourish in his Partridge saga and carrying on with the more interesting work of his acting career; or better yet, taking another trip with his on-screen frenemy Rob Brydon.

There’s more fun to be had making fun of the past, rather than reliving it.

Jonathan Campbell

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