Alan Partridge has once again bounced back, this time with the travelogue styled Places Of My Life. It's different, but for me, it's destined to be a future classic
Alan Partridge has been with me for so many years that I can’t remember another character that has been so good for so long
. His humble beginnings, his Primetime highs, his Linton Travel Tavern Lows and the purgatory of his static home.
He is however a survivor, ‘Mid Morning Matters’ and auto biography ‘I Partridge’ have reminded us all of just how vital Alan is. If you want to look like a complete knob on public transport, get his audiobook and get it on your iPod. I guarantee you’ll have a double seat, no one wants to sit next to that. There is also a movie in production. There have been many column inches dedicated to Fernando’s father, by far better writers than me. They all basically say the same thing, Alan is the modern benchmark.
Which leads us to his new venture on Sky Atlantic. I don’t think there is any irony lost, when it comes to watching Partridge on an exclusive channel run by the same bloke who runs newscorp, but that’s for another time. ‘Welcome to the Places of My Life’ finds us the viewer on unfamiliar territory, and Alan on very familiar territory, his beloved Norwich
. I say unfamiliar to us, because it’s his production. A production of something that he loves to wax lyrical about, a place he adores, his passion, his home turf. I don’t remember a time when Alan was this much in control of anything. This new travelogue format is different to what has come before, there are no regular characters for him to play off, apart from Lynn briefly via telephone. No shower curtains, no cup o’ beans, no blooded feet. The comedy in this new outing, much like the book is in the details. The dodgy Peartree Production added to the subtlety of it all. The editing in the swimming baths interview was excellent. The interaction with the market traders
was so cringey I thought I was getting an ulcer, in a good way. There were two lines that were worth tuning in for alone. “Flying AIDS” and “The more I learn about Hitler, the more I dislike him”. If you didn’t enjoy this the first time around, give it a second go, but listen rather than watch. One thing that still rings true, is that Alan, despite being on home ground, is still very much the outsider. Just by being himself. No doubt this is a future classic.
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