Filming is officially underway on a new BBC Alan Partridge TV series called This Time. Steve Coogan's iconic character was first conceived for On The Hour in 1991 and went on to make an even bigger impression in the ABBA-obsessed spoof chat show, Knowing Me, Knowing You. However, it was the sitcom I'm Alan Partridge that propelled Norwich's King of Chat to household name status, particularly in his native U.K.
After a number of years in the wilderness and a Toblerone-fueled breakdown, Alan bounced back with the web series Mid Morning Matters and went on to appear in his own feature film, Alpha Papa. In October 2017, it was confirmed that Alan Partridge would finally be returning to where it all began for the character, the BBC, although the specifics of the project remained strictly under wraps.
The first details surrounding Coogan's new Partridge series have now been released by the BBC, along with confirmation that the show has officially started filming. Partridge will be hosting a spoof "evening weekday magazine show" called This Time in what sounds suspiciously like a parody of BBC's The One Show. Partridge's co-host on This Time will be Jennie Gresham (Susannah Fielding) and Tim Key will be returning as Sidekick Simon. The series will be written by Coogan alongside Neil and Rob Gibbons, who have been working on the character since Mid Morning Matters, and the two brothers will also direct. There will be a total of six thirty-minute episodes.
The fact that the Partridge franchise is returning to its spoof roots with a parody along the lines of Knowing Me, Knowing You is something that will no doubt delight many long-term fans of the character, as this is an environment Alan has not been seen squirming in for quite some time. It'll also be hilarious to see how Alan deals with his female co-host given how horribly his last attempt to do so went in Knowing Me, Knowing You. Viewers should expect plenty of political analysis from Partridge, as Coogan has previously declared the character to be a keen supporter of Brexit, while the actor himself is very much the opposite.
The return of any much-loved character naturally comes with lofty expectations and it can often be difficult to keep older fans happy whilst also updating the character. In Partridge's case however, Coogan and co. have already proven - most notably with Alpha Papa - that not only is Alan Partridge relevant to a modern audience, but he is still as hilariously inappropriate and awkward as ever. With hard-hitting modern issues such as Brexit, Trump and the pedestrianization of Norwich city center to mull over, there's certainly no shortage of material for Alan to tackle. AHA!
This Time is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.