Norwich founds itself hitting the back of the net today as it hosted the world premiere of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
Appearing in character as Partridge himself, comedian Steven Coogan took to the red carpet in a rather snazzy blue suit. The fictional DJ then told the cheering crowds, “This film is my love letter to Norwich…. £4m has gone on this film, which could have gone to a brand new antenatal unit or Help for Heroes, but we spent it on this film.”
The film, which involves Partridge getting caught up in a siege at North Norfolk Digital radio, had its original London premiere moved following a Twitter campaign called “Anglia Square Not Leicester Square”, protested that it should be held in Partridges’s beloved city.
Producers Studiocanal relented, posting a statement on Twitter from Partridge which read, “You can imagine how hurt and litigious I felt when people said I was planning to debut my movie in London instead of Norwich, or that I’d allowed my head to be turned by the prospect of big city fame.
“Any suggestions I’ve hastily cobbled together the lunchtime Norwich screening in response to a local Twitter campaign will be met with the full force of the law.”
Alpha Papa, released on August 6, was filed around several locations in Norfolk, including Cromer, Sheringham and various parts of Norwich.
Speaking outside the Hollywood Cinema ahead of the Alpha Papa showing, he said he was proud of Norwich but his love for the city was not in “an Operation Yewtree way”. He added that he had chosen Norwich because he trusted its local police force to protect him from a sniper while on the red carpet.
Partridge – who once said “Go to London, I guarantee you’ll either be mugged or not appreciated” – will be flown by helicopter to the capital’s Leicester Square for a second showing.