Do you long to be more interesting? A charisma leviathan, part man, part God? There can be only one blueprint. Norfolk’s answer to Jesus of Nazareth, Alan Partridge.
Some say Partridge is a fictional character played by comedian Steve Coogan in several series, some TV specials and a mildly disappointing film, but we say those people are crazy. How could anyone invent Alan Partridge? Except, perhaps, a genius mind like Nietzsche, Kant or Jilly Cooper.
Partridge is both the everyman and the ubermensch. Women want to be him and men want be him with the women who want to be with him. How could you, a normal man, with a man’s courage, ever be like Partridge?
Well, we’ve been studying the formula and we’ve broken it down in our laboratory to seven component parts. Gentlemen and strange ladies, here’s how you can be more like Alan Partridge in seven steps of varying difficulty. And to top it off, we’ve got a collection of Alan Partridge’s best clips.
1. Be a ladies man
Though divorced from the love of his life Carol, who bore him children Fernando and Denise, Partridge doesn’t let that cramp his bachelor style. At one time, between projects, secreted in Linton Travel Tavern, he enjoyed a dalliance with saucy receptionist Susan. Alas, it came to nought. “As a customer, I was in part paying her wages. And that more or less made me her boss,” Partridge wrote in his biography I, Partridge, “I did feel sorry for her, though as I could tell she ached for me.”
Back at Radio Norwich, Partridge began a romance with Ukrainian lovely Sonja, 14 years his junior. Partridge would later describe the relationship as “80% physical, 15% small talk and 5% don’t know”. Back of the net!
2. Cultivate your taste
As a DJ famous among the key demographic of 35-58 year olds (with access to DAB or online) throughout North Norfolk, Partridge has blazed a trail in musical taste-making. “I’ve got a broad taste,” Alan once said, “From the Brit-pop bands like UB40, Def Leppard, right back to classic rock, like Wings… the band The Beatles could have been.”
But Alan’s appreciation of life’s finer things; cars, food, chemical toilets goes much further. “Can I just shock you? I like wine,” Partridge once said, “At any one time I have nine bottles of wine in my house.”
3. Maximise every situation
Alan knows how to make the most of any situation in which he finds himself. That explains his phenomenal success; phenomenal excess. Within reason, of course. During Alan’s time at the Linton Travel Tavern (182 days in total), this SAS-like ingenuity was stretched to the limit:
“You know the breakfast buffet, all you can eat but from an 8-inch plate? 12 inches,” said Alan, tapping his big plate one morning, “Keep it in my room.”
Crazy? Like a fox!
Everyone loves a full English, especially Partridge. “I’d have that three times a day if I could,” he told his Ukrainian paramour Sonja, “But I’d be dead.”
4. Dress for success
There’s one thing everyone can agree about Partridge; the man knows how to dress. From his chat show outfit of signature green blazer, Partridge crest blazer badge and tie, to the casual look he recently sported at the North Norfolk Digital kidnap siege; casual shirt with casual leather blouson jacket (and casual shotgun).
No man can carry off a cravat with an Aran sweater quite as well. Except, perhaps, Roger Moore. Imperial leisure.
5. Be the change you want
While many in the entertainment industry are content to stay in one role, Alan Partridge has dabbled in many. Disc jockey, sports presenter, chat show host, disc jockey, corporate film maker, travelogue host, disc jockey, life coach, siege negotiator, disc jockey – you name it, he may have done it.
But it’s not just the roles that have changed. The medium has changed too, from radio, to television, to DVD and, most recently, digital radio and the global Internet. Partridge is at the forefront of technological change, like an East Anglian Steve Jobs, driving innovation through the media landscape like a Vauxhall Vectra. Or a Lexus.
6. Bounce back
Partridge has hit rock bottom more times than most. From the time he accidentally shot and killed restaurant critic Forbes McAllister live on his chat show, to the time he drove to Dundee barefoot, out of his mind on Toblerone. But every time, he came bouncing back. Which, incidentally, is the title of the autobiography that he wrote in 2002 after he hit rock bottom the second time.
Unfortunately, due to poor sales, Bouncing Back was pulped – though it’s rumoured to still be available in second hand shops in and around the Norfolk area.
7. Inspire worship
And, of course, a man as talented, well-dressed, sexually confident and, yet, gentle as Alan Partridge has his share of fans. In Alan’s case, some more obsessive than others.
One fan, Jed Maxwell built a shrine to Partridge and lured him there.
“Fear ripples through me like the raspberry in a raspberry ripple ice-cream,” Partridge recounted in his second, as yet unpulped biography ‘I, Partridge’, “From floor to ceiling the walls are covered in pictures of Alan Gordon Partridge.”
The Norfolk DJ was, of course, able to make a full escape – after kicking Maxwell between the legs, transforming his testicles into “bollock pancakes”.