Directed by: Declan Lowney
Starring: Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Sean Pertwee, Simon Greenall, Tim Key
AHA! When the makers of this film decided to go with Alpha Papa as the title, they knew this was going to be the top daddy. And so it proved to be.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa sees Alan comfortably settled into his mid-morning radio slot at North Norfolk Digital asking the big questions as to whether cow have hymens or which monger is the worst: fish, iron, war or rumour in between choice cuts of Sting and Fleetwood Mac. However when the station is taken over and renamed Shape, veteran broadcaster Pat Farrell (Meaney) is axed and holds the station in a siege which only North Norfolk’s favourite DJ can resolve.
As storylines go it isn’t your average day around Norwich city centre, but thankfully, it’s all kept very low key and very British. Too often British comedy goes for the trip abroad format (The Inbetweeners Movie or Mr Bean’s Holiday) but Alpha Papa really just feels like a feature length episode. And it really does benefit from this.
The familiar faces are back including Michael (Simon Grenall), Lynn and Dave Clifton but it’s all about the Partridgisms from Steve Coogan himself which are the highlight here. With that trademark delivery of poor jokes and random debate, Coogan really does prove inimitable.
There are plenty of laugh out loud moments including the hostages coming up with some new jingles for Pat’s siege broadcasts and a parody on the ‘hero speech’ in which Partridge asks police officers if they have another siege to go to, before then engaging in a fascinating debate about which is his favourite siege.
It’s actually a very sweet story all round, with Alan Partridge just wanting to be appreciated as a top notch broadcaster, and Pat Farrell just wanting to satisfy his loyal following of listeners. With this film, Partridge has escaped the confines of the studio to dabble his hand in police business to once again take Norwich by storm. The only downside is that the ending is perhaps a little rushed but it’s all about Partridge’s chat and loveable personality as an unlikely hero that wins here. Jurassic Park!