Steve Coogan's creation fell on hard times later--as chronicled in the magnificent I'm Alan Partridge Series 1 and Series 2--but here he's revelling in his prime-time exposure with no thought of becoming "clinically sad" or gorging on Toblerone bars. Co-writers Armando Iannucci and Patrick Marber lovingly recreate everything that's fake and contrived about the whole chat-show genre: the shameless plugging, the recalcitrant celebs, the novelty acts and, most of all, the insufferably smug host oblivious to his own tediousness. Coogan's regular guests are ably played by some faces familiar from The Day Today: Rebecca Front, Doon MacKichan, David Schneider and Patrick Marber himself. Other game guest stars are John Thomson (as a naval officer also called Alan Partridge) and Minnie Driver (as a transsexual agony aunt), not forgetting Steve Brown as disconcertingly gay music director Glen Ponder.
The high-water mark of Alan's career arrived with his Christmas special Knowing Me, Knowing Yule in which his own living room was lovingly recreated at Television Centre. Unfortunately, and despite the presence of Mick Hucknall, the new Chief Commissioning Editor of BBC TV, Tony Hayers, is deeply unimpressed with the show and gets punched in the face by Alan, who, it turns out, is handy with a turkey. On that bombshell, Alan's career took a downward turn.
On the DVD: Knowing Me, Knowing You is a two-disc set including all six episodes and the Christmas special. There's a group commentary throughout with contributions from Armando Iannucci plus Patrick Marber, Rebecca Front, Steve Brown and Dave Schneider speaking in and out of character. Other extras include the original pilot show, Alan on Comic Relief, Alan's rural rambles, his TV trailers, plus stills and cast biographies. --Mark Walker
The DVD itself is almost worth the money just for the extras alone, which were surprisingly good, especially Alan's Country Ramble! I love it. The christmas special is on there as well, which i had never seen before now, and that was well worth waiting for! Especially the ending, it goes some way to show what made Partridge go off the rails and become a mentally unstable toblerone addict, which is referred to in the following series.
This is such a quality comedy DVD, i urge you to buy this little gem!
I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, or at least since the release of the second series incarnation I’m Alan Partridge, at any rate. This is the original though, Alan’s fist shot at TV superstardom with his own prime-time chat show. From the initial disappointment with the cancellation of Roger Moore to the accidental shooting of restaurateur Forbes McAllister, we know things will never go to plan for the ignorant and in your face presenter, who takes great pleasure from embarrassing his guests at every conceivable moment under the false belief that it will make great TV. In effect, it does. This is one of the greatest television comedy series of all time.
The writing by Coogan, co-star Patrick Marber and series producer Armando Ianucci is strong, intelligent and above all else, side-splittingly funny. The subversive nature of the concept allows the team to take pot shots at real-life interviewers and the kind of questions they ask, as well as presenting Alan with all manner of weirdo interviewees... from Hollywood brats to a French mime act with more than a touch of the disturbed about them. The majority of the supporting roles are played by Marber, Rebecca Front and David Schneider, all of whom contributed to the Chris Morris brainchild The Day Today... AKA, the birthplace of Partridge. Just going to show the impeccable comedy credentials on display here.
The disk is stunningly put together, just as the earlier release of I’m Alan Partridge was, and too the recent release of the last series. Here we have all six episodes uncut - some of which reach the forty-five minute mark when released of their TV restraints - as well as deleted scenes, outtakes, trailers, the comic relief specials, the original fifteen-minute pilot show and a lively commentary from the writers and the cast (no Coogan though). The real treat is the Partridge Christmas special, imaginatively titled Knowing Me, Knowing Yule, in which Alan’s career is well and truly put to rest by an exploding giant cracker, a lude, cross-dressing chef and a punch in the face of the chief commissioning editor of the BBC.
This is great comedy. It lacks the genius of the follow up I’m Alan Partridge in which the washed up celeb found himself abandoned in the Linton Travel Tavern, though the quality of the gags here is more than enough to make up for that. Luckily for me, I got this as a present over the Christmas period, which meant that I could experience the brilliance of Knowing Me, Knowing Yule in it’s desired climate. That’s said, this an excellent gift for any occasion... and on that Bombshell. I give it Five Stars.
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