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Chat show host-turned-radio DJ Alan Partridge hits the big screen in this raucous hostage drama marrying the character’s petty charm with film’s cinematic demands.

Partridge, host of Mid Morning Matters on North Norfolk Digital, becomes the inadvertent negotiator when fellow DJ, Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney), irked when he’s ousted by new station owners, brandishes a shotgun and takes everyone in the station hostage. Partridge’s popularity skyrockets as the media descend, and he’s not about to miss a trick to promote his own career. 

There was the worry that in the move to film the witticisms which made this bumbling Brit such a national treasure could be lost. But Steve Coogan and writers ensure Partridge’s narcissism remains untouched – his desperate lack of loyalty makes him the best kind of anti-hero as he becomes ‘Alan Partridge: Action Hero’. 

The bigger, brasher tone leads to a few missteps, and the lower brow humour that creeps in – a naked window escape and faeces-filled lunch box – seem to belong in another movie. But Alpha Papa is at its best when Partridge is Partridge, singing along to Roachford in the car or asking his listeners which sort of monger is the worst – fish, iron, rumour or war?

It’s a deserved triumph, a comedy that is defiantly British and which makes the long wait for Partridge’s cinematic debut wholly worth it. 

Good for: Another eminently quotable entry in the Partridge franchise.

Starring: Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney | 15 | 90mins | Out Aug 7 


Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - film review: Starring Steve Coogan and Colm Meaney
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