Tonight Sky Atlantic viewers will be treated to their second dose in as many weeks of Alan Partridge, as the former BBC and Radio Norwich presenter appears on Open Books with Martin Bryce (Sky Atlantic, 9pm) to talk about his critically-acclaimed memoir I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan.
While the celebrity memoir market is generally saturated with literary gems from real-life ‘stars’, such as Katie Price’s You Only Live Once and Paris Hilton’s Confessions of an Heiress, today we’re taking a look at the work of their fictitious literary rivals like meerkat Aleksandr Orlov and Mr Bean in our collection of the very best fictional autobiographies…
I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan
Unlike any ordinary autobiography, the memoirs of status-obsessed Alan Partridge allows readers to laugh at the character’s outrageously politically incorrect humour. The former presenter of cancelled chat-show Knowing Me Knowing You relives school taunts of “Smelly Alan Fartridge”, as well as exploring his more recent endeavours, which successfully manage to offend and amuse just about everyone. Boosted by Alan’s inept appearance on the Jonathan Ross Show, the book garnered glowing reviews when it was released and gained the commercial success Partridge predicted when it was released in September 2011. Unlike Alan’s previous literary endeavour, Bouncing Back, it looks like this book will be spared the indignity of a pulping.
A Simples Life: The Life and Times of Aleksandr Orlov
Not content with merely burrowing and searching for prey, this lovable and not-at-all-irritating meerkat has also written a 128-page autobiography. One of the best-known celebrity animals since Shamu the killer whale, the Balkan furball was first seen in the popular Compare The Market advertisements. The book, which includes a map of Orlov’s mansion, gives readers a unique insight into the life of a talking meerkat. Aleksandr’s book was exceptionally well received ; pre-orders doubled those of real-life stars Cheryl Cole and Russell Brand. Obviously a Russian meerkat in a dressing gown is what the public want. Simples.
Mrs Fry’s diary
Mrs Fry’s Diary, written by prolific tweeter Edna Fry, is an autobiography penned by the woman claiming to be actor/presenter/writer Stephen Fry’s beleaguered wife. Mrs Fry – who describes herself as Stephen’s “poor, downtrodden wife and mother of his five, six or possibly seven kids” – was rumoured to be an alter ego of Stephen’s after he wrote the book’s forward and implored readers to: “Buy the wife’s book or I’ll never hear the end of it.” Inside she shares her many pearls of wisdom, including a recipe for Spam Bourginon and more than a few tips on childcare techniques. For a preview of Mrs Fry’s witty asides, check out her Twitter account, which won her the 2010 Shorty Award for Funniest Tweeter.
Adrian Mole’s Diary
Sue Townsend found fame chronicling the life of Pooterish teen Adrian Mole, who first appeared in a BBC Radio 4 play back in 1982, in a popular diary series, the best known of which is The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (aged 13 3/4). The book’s appeal stemmed from the comic tales of Adrian’s adolescence and dysfunctional parents, who end up separated, divorced and remarried several times over the course of the series. The diaries focus on Mole’s ambitions to publish his writing and marry his teenage sweetheart but reveal him hopelessly failing to achieve either goal. With the latest diaries receiving similar acclaim to those published thirty years ago, the comic mishaps of Adrian Mole boast a truly lasting appeal.
Mr Bean’s Diary
Everyone’s favourite dipstick, Mr Bean, invites us to thrill at his life and unhinged psyche in his 1993 memoir. Mentally trapped somewhere between Year 7 and the Lower Sixth, Bean reveals everything from run-ins with the local police to details of his unfortunately named girlfriend, Irma Gobb, in the diary. The book delves deeper than the TV series and really captures the essence of this daft but lovable character. 2002 saw an updated version of the diary released to accompany the Mr Bean cartoon series, sales of which eclipsed those of the original’s print run, demonstrating the enduring popularity of one of British TV’s biggest ever exports.
Alan Patridge on Open Books with Martin Bryce is on Sky Atlantic tonight at 9:00pm