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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Film - Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - directed by Declan Lowney

Star rating - 9/10

It's always a worry when a successful and hilarious small screen comedy transfers to a film version. But when the project involves the likes of comedy genius Armando Iannucci, and indeed Steve Coogan himself, there is really no need for anxiety. Coogan successfully invokes the full cringe worthy horror of the cheesy Norfolk radio DJ in this extremely entertaining film.

He is full of the usual quips and nonsense that we have come to expect and love about Alan Partridge, including some gems about religion. When a co-host has a laugh at the expense of Islam, Partridge is horrified and tells him that he must never make jokes about Muslims, 'only Christians - and Jews a little bit.'. Coogan embraces the full naffness that is Partridge so well - crooning and pouting along to Roachford in his car, complete with tan leather driving gloves. 

When a new company take over the station, and care more about profits than the old time DJs, then the rebranding situation boils over into an hilarious siege, with Partridge as the unlikely hero of the hour. He plays this out for full effect, sensing something of a career renaissance as the likely outcome. His faithful PA Lynn is there to support and admonish him in equal measure. 

There is good support from Colm Meaney as fellow DJ Pat Farrell for whom things become all too much. And a hilarious gag about a chemical toilet. It's a joy to watch and a reminder that sometimes you don't have to change a winning formula,  just keep on doing it as well as this. 

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