Why didn’t Alan Partridge get fired at the end of This Time series one?

He almost lost his position on the show in the series one finale.

Steve Coogan in This Time with Alan Partridge series 2

Alan Partridge fans may be confused to see the comedy character hosting a brand new edition of This Time on BBC One tonight, after he was seemingly due to get the sack in the series one finale.

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The dramatic episode saw Alan (Steve Coogan) and his co-host Jennie Gresham (Susannah Fielding) have a major falling out, after he told a crew member she would “smother her own grandmother” to get on the cover of Radio Times.

Understandably offended, Jennie walked off that evening’s programme, leaving Alan to present a calamitous episode with only his gormless sidekick Simon Denton (Tim Key) for back-up.

At the end of the episode, we heard that Alan was being called to a meeting with Jennie, as well as the executive producer and the BBC’s Director-General, which many fans assumed would mean the end of his primetime gig.

However, the opening episode of This Time series two sees a return to the status quo, with Alan and Jennie sharing a sofa once more, leaving fans to wonder what happened in that scary meeting.

This Time co-writer Neil Gibbons has cleared up that confusion, explaining how Alan clung onto his dream job and the decision not to address the matter in series two.

“I think the sense we were trying to create was that Alan, at the end of series one, was put back in his box,” he said at a press event. “His arc was a bit Icarus-like, in that he was getting a bit ahead of himself and that came to a head in episode six when he unloaded on Jennie. I think he’s put in his place by the powers that be after episode six finishes.”

Gibbons added, “But two years later, I think it would be slightly odd to have them still referring to a disciplinary meeting that happened a long time ago. I think the sense is that Alan was given a slap on the wrist and told to adjust his ways, and unfortunately the old ways have crept back in as they would with Alan.”

This move continues the idea that Alan Partridge’s life moves approximately in real-time with the rest of the world, a tradition that dates back to the genesis of the character.

For more on Alan Partridge, check out our interviews with co-creator Armando Iannucci and I’m Alan Partridge co-writer Peter Baynham

Armando Iannucci
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This Time with Alan Partridge returns to BBC One on Friday 30th April at 9:30pm. Check out our TV Guide to see what else is on tonight.