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The best Alan Partridge quotes - a celebration of wit and wisdom

As the Norwich-based literary heavyweight takes to Sky Atlantic to discuss his autobiography, we compile some of his most important teachings... logo
Published: Monday, 2nd July 2012 at 9:00 am

The twentieth century will go down in history as an era which produced some of the greatest thinkers of all time. Without Alan Turing's brilliance, for example, the personal computer might never have come to be. Had Ludwig Wittgenstein refrained from publishing his famous Tractatus, mankind might still be wrestling with all manner of insoluble philosophical problems...


And if it wasn't for Alan Partridge pointing out the short-sightedness of Joni Mitchell's lyrics to Big Yellow Taxi, the people of Norfolk might have been left ignorant about the realities of traffic congestion on the edge of Paradise indefinitely.

However, you're unlikely to encounter the name of Norwich's most famous broadcaster in any chronicle of the world's greatest minds. But whether his expulsion to the fringes of academia was due to his legendary hostility towards the students of Oxbridge university (wherever that is) or that unfortunate incident in which he inadvertently shot a learned man live on national television, none of that matters any longer.

The reappraisal of this modern-day Socrates has begun - and below we present, for your intellectual and spiritual delectation, a selection of this man's pearls of wisdom, in the hope that his words will be as much use and comfort to you in your daily life as they've been in ours.

On aesthetics:

"I don't like big feet. It reminds me of gammon."

"Do you know what this bathroom says to me? Aqua. Which is French for water. It's like being inside an enormous Fox's Glacier Mint. Which, again, to me is a bonus."

On art:

"There's never any graffiti in the hotel. Although in the Gents a couple of weeks a go I did see someone had drawn a lady's part. Quite detailed. The guy obviously had talent."

On class:

"Two fat ladies, 88! Not that you'd find these ladies at a bingo hall, of course... they're altogether a higher class of fat lady."

On clichés:

"All those people who go around saying “Life begins at forty,” they're notable by their absence. The nerve."

On conflict:

"The temperature inside this apple pie is over 1000 degrees. If I squeeze it, a jet of molten bramley apple will squirt out. Could go your way; could go mine. Either way, one of us is going down!"

On culture:

"All this wine nonsense! You get all these wine people, don't you? Wine this, wine that. Let's have a bit of red, let's have a bit of white. Ooh, that's a snazzy bouquet. Oh, this smells of, I don't know, basil. Sometimes you just want to say, sod all this wine, just give me a pint of...mineral water."

On the elderly:

"This chemical toilet is a Saniflow 33, now this little babe can cope with anything, and I mean anything. Earlier on I put in a pound of mashed up Dundee cake, let's take a look...not a trace! Peace of mind I'm sure, especially if you have elderly relatives on board."

On ennui:

"Hi Susan. I was a bit bored so I dismantled my Corby Trouser Press. I can't put it back together again. Will that show up on my bill?"

On ethics:

"Guide dogs for the blind. It's cruel really, isn't it? Getting a dog to lead a man round all day. Not fair on either of them."

On farmers:

"If you see a lovely field with a family having a picnic, and a nice pond in it, you fill in the pond with concrete, you plow the family into the soil, you blow up the tree, and use the leaves to make a dress for your wife who is also your brother."

"You make pigs smoke!"

On the frailty of the human body:

"Got my fungal foot powder? Ah, it's a lifesaver, you know. I'd effectively be disabled if it weren't for these."

"Right, dry skin cream. I'm having an attack of the old flakes again. This morning my pillow looked like a flapjack."

On friendship:

"Dan's a fantastic man! He really is. I was talking to him early and he asked me what kind of phone I had and I said a Motorola Timeport. And he said, 'that's saaad, you want to upgrade'. I said, so do you - to a new face. He nearly soiled himself! He said he was laughing so hard he had Kenco coming out of his nostrils, and that made me laugh. nostrils were clear."

On grammar:

"Convoy? Michael, you're hanging around with a man who uses a collective term for a single vehicle."

On the Irish:

"Bucktoothed simpletons with eyebrows on their cheeks... horses running through council estates... men in platform shoes being arrested for bombings... badly tarmacced drives... in this country."

On Latin:

"Hello is that Curry's? I'd like to place an order for two supplementary, auxiliary speakers, to go with my Midi Hi-Fi system, apropos achieving surround sound. 'Apropos''s Latin. You ought to have a basic grasp of Latin if you're working in Curry's."

On law and order:

"Jet from Gladiators to host a millennium barn dance at Yeovil aerodrome. Properly policed. It must not, I repeat not, turn into an all-night rave."

On leisure time:

"Sunday Bloody Sunday. What a great song. It really encapsulates the frustration of a Sunday, doesn't it? You wake up in the morning, you've got to read all the Sunday papers, the kids are running round, you've got to mow the lawn, wash the car, and you just think 'Sunday, bloody Sunday!'"

On love:

"I'm gonna hump ya. Like Deputy Dog... would hump ya."

"Actually the best thing I did, was to get thrown out by my wife. She's living with a fitness instructor. He drinks that yellow stuff in tins. He's an idiot."

On personal safety:

"We're down to the final lather. Just relax; there's a foamy bit on your shoulder - let's make it even more frothy with a squirt of light lemon liquid. Don't you feel good? Careful not to fall asleep and slip under, there's some terrible statistics about that."

On public speaking:

"Quick tip for yourself: if you're ever doing an after-dinner speech, you say "My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, sorry I'm late, I just popped to the toilet. And while I was there, I saw some graffiti and it said 'I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.' Straight away you've got them by the jaffas."

On tact:

"We managed to rectify it, though, because it now says, by adapting it, "Cook" where it once said "Cock", and it says "Pass" now where it once said "Piss", so it's slightly less rude."

On theology:

"In my mind God made Adam and Eve, he didn't make Adam and Steve."

"God is a gas... but not a small gas like Calor Gas"

On truth:

"I know lying is wrong, but if the elephant man came in now in a blouse with some make up on, and said "how do I look?" Would you say, bearing in mind he's depressed and has respiratory problems, would you say "go and take that blusher off you mis-shapened elephant tranny"? No. You'd say 'You look nice... John'"

On Joni Mitchell:

"Big Yellow Taxi there by Joni Mitchell, a song in which she complains that they 'paved paradise to put up a parking lot' - a measure which actually would have alleviated traffic congestion on the outskirts of paradise. Something which Joni singularly fails to point out, perhaps because it doesn't quite fit in with her blinkered view of the world. Nevertheless, nice song."


Feel free to add your own important Partridge quotes in the comments below - after all, knowledge is power...


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