In the same week that Richard Madeley makes his Good Morning Britain comeback as a stand-in for Piers Morgan, we’ve learned the details of Alan Partridge’s new project for the BBC.
Steve Coogan’s comic creation will return to the Beeb later this year to take on the gig of a lifetime as the (temporary) stand-in co-host of an evening weekday magazine show, This Time.
Alan, whose big BBC comeback has been generating plenty of excitement since it was first announced last year, returns to live TV for the first time since a fatal on-air shooting brought about the cancellation of his 1990s chat show Knowing Me, Knowing You.
This Time is described as “the perfect shop window for a man of Alan’s gravitas” and it’s hoped “will, or should, see him finally recognised as one of the heavyweight broadcasters of his era.”
The programme features “a heady mix of consumer affairs, current affairs, viewer interaction, highbrow interview and lightweight froth”. It’s basically The One Show of the Partridge universe.
Joining Coogan on the sofa will be Susannah Fielding as his female co-presenter Jennie Gresham, and Tim Key as Simon ‘formerly Sidekick Simon’ Denton. Further casting details are expected to be announced at a later date.
“It’s interesting bringing Alan back to the BBC, which is where he was born as a concept,” Coogan explained in a special retrospective documentary, which aired in December.
“The BBC is what Alan always wanted to be, and in making the narrative work in a logical sense, Alan is a creature of the BBC.”
“Alan is very excited about this TV chance,” added collaborator Rob Gibbons (who has written for the character alongside Coogan and his brother Neil for a number of years).
“He’s nervous because he knows how badly he screwed things up last time.
“So, the question is whether he can sink his claws into this job and hold onto it? You’ve got to doubt it.”
This Time with Alan Partridge comes to BBC1 later this year