Alan Partridge is back on the BBC after 24 years away with new series This Time – and he’s very keen that his colleagues watch the show.
The comedy character, created by Steve Coogan, has sent a round robin email to the more than 20,000 staff at the BBC insisting they tune in at 9.30pm.
The waspishly-worded email also called out a BBC employee for “sneering” at him, and included a poorly worded get well message to a sick presenter in an attempt to “clear the air” with his former colleagues.
“Yes, some 24 years after my last presenting gig, the BBC have sidled up to me with a short-term offer to co-present your much-loved magazine show, This Time, standing in for John Baskell who’s been taken ill,” the email began. “Well, although my diary is as clogged as John’s arteries (get well, John!) I have agreed to drop everything and step up.
“Some of you made clear I wouldn’t be welcome back. A woman who worked in compliance called Karen or Kate or Kath who had long wavy hair and apparently still works here sneered so hard I thought her face would turn inside out.
“But I am back, as evidenced by this, my own official BBC email address. And with it, I reach out not to gloat, or to settle old scores, or say, ‘Hey Karen/Kate/Kath, why don’t you kiss my arse – but to be the bigger man and clear the air of any residual stench.”
The Norwich disc-jockey added, “I ask every one of this email’s 20,000+ recipients to tune in tonight on BBC1. Even if nobody else in the country does, we’re already hitting the kind of numbers my shows were getting on Sky Atlantic.”
The PR exercise didn’t stop there from Partridge, with those choosing to reply to the email receiving an equally scathing out of office response.
“If your email is urgent, perhaps you should have tried calling instead,” came the reply. “The very fact you were content to type out your query long hand and settle back to wait for a reply suggests it can wait, even if you have put a red exclamation mark next to your email to make it stand out in my inbox. Won’t wash with me, that.”
Looks like Partridge is more than keen to make his presence felt at the BBC once more…
This Time with Alan Partridge starts tonight at 9:30pm on BBC1