– The BBC’s new spoof docuseries will see the hapless, iconic presenter embarking on a reflective exploration of happiness and identity after his return from Saudi Arabia
Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge (© BBC)
Steve Coogan is set to reprise his role as Alan Partridge in the BBC‘s new six-part spoof documentary series And Did Those Feet… with Alan Partridge. The latest addition to the Partridge franchise, known for its satirical portrayal of a troubled television and radio presenter, is written and directed by Neil and Rob Gibbons, and co-written by Coogan. The Gibbons brothers have previously worked on other Partridge ventures, such as Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge, Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life, the feature Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa [+see also:
film profile] and both seasons of This Time with Alan Partridge. The new series will chronicle Partridge’s return to his hometown of Norwich after a year in Saudi Arabia, whereupon he finds himself grappling with an unexpected sense of emptiness. But what begins as a documentary about homecoming soon morphs into something more personal as Alan realises that the happiness he thought he’d feel at being back in Norwich just hasn’t materialised.
The official synopsis reveals: “We follow Alan as he sets off on a quest to understand his funk and to share what he learns with the nation. And if he ends up being seen as a mental-health champion for the middle-aged, who’s also a good fit to present other issues-led documentary strands, so be it. Over six episodes, Alan explores exactly half a dozen of the areas that play a part in keeping us funk-free, from home lives, to work life, to the importance of nature, to relationships, to pastimes, to a sixth topic he’s not worked out yet because he’s a proper journalist, not just a sausage machine knocking out content.”
BBC director of comedy commissioning Jon Petrie noted, “Alan Partridge is the most iconic comedy character in the UK. The wonderful Steve Coogan and Neil and Rob Gibbons continue to innovate and create an even richer world for Alan to inhabit. This unflinching look at the state of the UK through Alan’s eyes promises to add more brilliance to the Partridge canon.” In 2019, the Gibbons brothers had already hinted at a new Alan Partridge television project, indicating a departure into a different format. And Did Those Feet… with Alan Partridge has a shoot scheduled for this summer.
This new series joins an array of programming in the latest slate of BBC commissions, including Cunk’s Quest for Meaning, a spoof documentary featuring unconventional and confused investigative reporter Philomena Cunk (played by Diane Morgan). In this one-off, extended special, Cunk will delve into complex concepts such as quantum physics, existentialism, nihilism and hedonism. Cunk’s Quest for Meaning is set to premiere on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer later this year, with international availability on Netflix for audiences outside the UK and Ireland.
BBC Comedy has also confirmed a second series of the critically acclaimed dramedy Dreaming Whilst Black, created by BAFTA Award winner Adjani Salmon. Additionally, Greg Davies’ crime-scene comedy The Cleaner will return to BBC One for a third series. Man Like Mobeen, starring Guz Khan, is set to return for a fifth series on BBC Three. Furthermore, a new sitcom called Only Child has been commissioned by BBC Comedy and BBC Scotland. The series stars Greg McHugh as Richard, an only child and aspiring author who returns to his family home in North-East Scotland to care for his ageing father, Ken (Gregor Fisher), whose behaviour is becoming increasingly eccentric and erratic.