Characters: Alan Partridge
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Played By: Steve Coogan
The main character of the series, Alan, a former host on Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge on BBC television, was dismissed from the BBC partly for punching Chief Commissioning Editor Tony Hayers in the face with a stuffed partridge and partly because his programmes were of a low standard, delivering ever-declining ratings. In series one he is divorced from his wife Carol, lives in the Linton Travel Tavern and is reduced to working the graveyard shift on Radio Norwich whilst desperately trying to get back on television in any capacity.
- Abusive Parents: Parodied. He claims this in his autobiography, but he's clearly trying to cash in on the trend of 'misery lit' and the incidents he describes are clearly utterly normal. If anything, his parents seem to have been boring.
- Ambiguously Gay: Alanís sexuality is a topic of much contention. He describes himself as a 'homo-skeptic' but has lately become more accepting (if not entirely politically correct). He actually pens a rather touching (for him, anyway) chapter in his self-serving autobiography about his friendship with Glen Ponder. At the same time, he displays both homophobic and homosexual tendencies.
- Bad Boss: He's too much of a coward to tell his production staff that he didn't get a second series, instead choosing to gradually fire them for ridiculous reasons at random. He doesn't tell his secretary she's been fired so he can date her, and later announces she was sacked on the radio.
- The Bully: Toward Lynn and Phillip Schofield. He frequently belittles Lynn's appearance and usefulness despite relying on her for everything and never shows a shred of gratitude. With Phillip Schofield, he refers to having bullied him with his colleagues during his younger days, which included filling his shoes with piss.
- Captain Obvious: Especially during his clip segments, where he points out the Eiffel Tower.
- Catch Phrase: "A-ha!"
- Deadpan Snarker: He does get many.
- Feigning Intelligence: And not convincingly.
- Freudian Excuse: In what little we've learnt about it (and keeping in mind Alan's obvious Unreliable Narrator tendencies), he doesn't appear to have had a particularly happy upbringing.
- Hidden Depths: Played with; Alan is an incredibly shallow and superficial person with a largely empty personal life, but there are occasionally hints about his backstory that go some way towards explaining why this is.
- Hypocrite: He's a relentless suck-up to the BBC but curses them with every other breath. He has no problem selling out his principles for a little extra piece of temporary fame.
- Hypno Fool: He's hypnotized on one of his shows, inadvertantly reliving a past bullying incident.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: As Im Alan Partridge shows, underneath Alan's bombastic and egotistical preening there's clearly a lot of bitterness and self-loathing deep within him.
- Jaded Washout: He would never admit it, but he's still incredibly bitter about his failed career at the BBC.
- Jerkass: As part of his smarmy persona, and even moreso in private.
- Jerkass Woobie: In Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and occassionally elsewhere in the series. Of particular note is his appearance in the one-off special 'Welcome to the Places of My Life' where it's heavily implied that he just manages to dodge a terminal illness. He becomes slightly more introspective and self-pitying.
- Pungeon Master: Heís deeply fond of puns.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Alan gets very angry when people don't recognise his 'greatness'.
- Smarmy Host: Especially towards his attractive female guests.
- Stupid Boss: He disregards Lynn's often sensible advice, in one case refusing to switch from his current car to a mini-metro to save his production company and responding to this suggestion with, 'I'll just talk over you' and proceeds to do just that.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Has become a very slightly better person by the end of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. He still does plenty of nasty things but seems to feel a bit of guilt and actually has a couple of moments of empathy with others. Helping him is that there an even nastier figure like Jason Cresswell around.
- Unreliable Narrator: This is particularly strong in his autobiography, I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan. He goes off-topic, forgets his initial points, contradicts himself, always assumes people are out to get him, boasts about mistakes he doesnít realize heís made and outright lies about situations the reader knows about first-hand.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Bad things may happen to him, but he's such a smarmy arse that it's just funny when misfortune befalls him.
- Waking Non Sequitur: At one point he wakes up yelling, 'fight you!'
- He does it whilst daydreaming in Alpha Papa, too. "It's Jason AND THE Argonauts!".
Played By: Felicity Montagu
Alan's hard-working, long-suffering, personal assistant, Lynn appears to run Alan's life to such an extent that he cannot survive without her organisational skills; despite this, he usually treats her with little more than contempt. Besides dealing with Alan's working-life, Lynn's other duties range from the banal to the truly ridiculous ó accompanying Alan to visit a show home, buying medicinal powder for Alan's fungal foot infections, cooling Alan with a hand-fan, and frequently listening patiently to Alan's pointless conversations and endless whining.
Lynn is a member of a local Baptist church, which Alan finds strange but is willing to tolerate. Her mother, with whom Lynn possibly lives, is apparently housebound, but Lynn seems able to balance her life between looking after her mother's affairs and those of Alan. When accompanying Alan, Lynn appears inhibited by him, but seems capable of easily blending into social situations when Alan is not present. Despite her intense and frequently ludicrous workload, Lynn receives a paltry £8,000 per year, due to Alan's greedy penny-pinching.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Implied for Alan. There's little other reason for her to stick around, and she shows some jealousy of Alan's secretary Jill.
- Badass: When Alan jumps out to scare her, she counter-attacks very well.
- Butt Monkey: Her life revolves around taking care of a man who shows no gratitude, works her very hard, shows no concern for her wellbeing and pays her very little.
- Extreme Doormat: She's at Alan's beck and call, and he treats her terribly.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: She's the only reason Alan gets work at all; if he were negotiating himself, he'd get nowhere.
- Moment Killer: Tries to be this between Alan and his secretary Jill, but he's such a social disaster that there wasn't much of a moment to kill.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Her ex-policeman boyfriend quickly figures out what type of person Alan is, and while Lynn is out of the room, he successfully intimidates Alan into being nicer and giving her a much-deserved and long-overdue pay raise.
Played By: David Scheider
The Chief Commissioning Editor for BBC Television. He wasn't a huge fan of Alan to begin with, which made Alan punching him with a frozen chicken live on television and then assaulting him with some cheese after being informed his show wasn't going to be recommissioned something of a mistake on Alan's part.
- Character Death: Sue Cook informs Alan over the phone of Hayers' death by falling.
- Death by Irony: A guest at his funeral notes that he spent his professional life in television, only to die while trying to fix a TV aerial. Alan finds this observation to be very impressive.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Alan says he'll do this in his book, but then goes on to talk about how pathetic and horrible Tony was, even saying he was overjoyed at his death.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Although Alan doesn't view him as such, and he's a bit tougher than he maybe needs to be, Tony gives good reasons for not giving Alan a second series. He does so in a tactful way, which is especially admirable considering Alan punched him in the face with a turkey.
- Sit Com Arch Nemesis: To Alan, of course, although Hayers tries not to engage when Alan becomes aggressive.
Played By: N/A
Alan's ex-wife. He hasn't quite managed to get over their divorce.
- The Unseen: She's only ever referenced by other characters, and has never made an on-screen appearance.
- Your Cheating Heart: With her gym instructor.
Played By: Simon Greenall
An all-purpose worker at the Linton Travel Tavern, Michael speaks with a heavy Geordie accent, which Alan barely understands (or claims not to) and, being Alan, never fails to demand clarification. Michael is arguably Alan's only friend, and Alan is glad of his presence when he needs to have a heart-to-heart or, more often, inane chat; their friendship is clearly not on an even basis, however, as Michael only ever refers to Alan as 'Mr. Partridge' and Alan clearly regards Michael with a great deal of disdain. Michael is almost as desperate and neurotic a character as Alan, and is very emotionally disturbed (shown most clearly when Alan looks out of his room window to see Michael tearing at his hair in a state of some distress).
Michael frequently tells stories of his time in the British army, to the delight of Alan, especially if they are of a salacious or violent nature. During a period of military placement in the Philippines, Michael married a Filipino woman, and the two moved back to Michael's native Newcastle upon Tyne. However, his wife left him and now lives with his brother in Sunderland, possibly shedding light on the origins of Michael's neuroticism.
- Ax-Crazy: Displayed most prominently in his extended monologue about his desire to steal a helicopter, fly it over the house of someone he knows, kill him and commit suicide by flying into the sea.
Michael: Me, I'd, I-I-I'd have an, an Apache attack helicopter.
Alan: Oh, great.
Alan: Yeah, I know the feeling.
And then I'd go looking for Tom Donaldson. I'd be hovering just down the road from his house, there. And he'd see us, but I'd duck down behind the trees, and he thinks he's safe, right?
And he's just about to put the key in his front door, and I come up from behind the hedge, 'Hello, you bastard.'
He panics, right? And he goes in the house, so I get the 30-millimetre cannon
and I take out the fish pond, coy carp in there couple of rounds each, right? And then I just tilt the helicopter over to one side and the machine-gun bullets is chewing up the drive, right?
He comes out. 'Oh no! Not me Triumph Stag! I've just had it resprayed!' I cut it right in half, right? And then he goes, 'Ahhh!' He runs up on to the garage roof. I say, 'Right. This is for you, Tom.'
He goes, 'No, no!' He's begging us, he's begging us man, 'No, please don't!' And then I fly off to Cornwall and I just smash in the sea in a big ball of flames.
Alan: .......sleep well, Michael. Erm, who's Tom Donaldson?
- Cloudcuckoolander: Probably why he becomes friends with Alan. He's one of very few people to carefully listen to Alan's insane stories and hypothetical situations.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Alan, eventually.
- The Unintelligible: A mild example. His Geordie accent can be difficult to understand, especially when he speaks fast, and Alan often points this out. Eventually he grows to understand Michael a little more.
- Sanity Slippage: He appears a bit more put-together during initial appearances, but it soon becomes clear just how crazy he actually is.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: He has not come back from the war unscathed.
- Senseless Sacrifice: When trying to save Alan from Pat, Michael bewilderingly jumps off a pier into the ocean. It's unclear if this was a diversion or an escape strategy, and merely serves to confuse Pat and Alan.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He isn't found after his Senseless Sacrifice. Considering Michael's history, it's likely he just went home and thought nothing of it.
Played By: Phil Cornwell
Dave is a Radio Norwich DJ who runs the programme right after Alan's "graveyard slot" show. During the handover every morning, Alan always tries to engage in witty banter with Dave, but their chatting fails to disguise the bitter rivalry between them. Dave is an alcoholic and has a driving ban, according to Alan. Much to Alan's surprise and chagrin, Dave is a friend of Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley.
- The Alcoholic: The reason for his driving ban.
- Dumbass DJ: He could best be described as Chris Moyles, Norwich Edition.
- Jerkass: To Alan, who he despises and is despised by in turn.
- Off The Wagon: After being reassigned to the graveyard slot himself.
- The Rival: To Alan. They often aim barbs at each other on-air, pretending it's banter. Their rivalry has softened up a little in the film.
Played By: N/A
- The Unseen: He's never seen in person, only mentioned. He's seen on-page in I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan, though. He helps Alan with his wife's infidelity and takes him to the zoo when Sue Cook doesn't show him.
Played By: N/A
Played By: Tim Key
Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge
Played By: Steve Brown
The front man of Partridge's house-band.
- Butt Monkey: He was found by Alan in an unsuccessful pub band, where he was often mugged after shows since it was his job to collect change on the floor. From there, it somehow gets worse: Alan fires him, they end up sueing and counter-sueing each other for years which cripples him financially and forces him to take terrible musician jobs (with arthritic hands) and destroys any joy he once took in his work. And his former band members are still sueing him for unpaid royalties.
- Deadpan Snarker: From time-to-time, when trading barbs with Alan.
- Straight Gay: He's only revealed to be gay when he off-handedly mentions having a boyfriend. Of course, this terrifies Alan.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: During the show after which Alan fires him live on-air. Glen is still in the band due to contract obligations and some other legal reasons, so they muddle through the episode quite frostily.
Played By: Rebecca Front
- The Ditz: She doesn't seem to quite grasp the nature of a chat show, at least the banter aspect.
- Nice Girl: Sweet-natured and polite if a little dull and a bit clueless.
Played By: Patrick Marber
- Catchphrase: "Am I right?"
- Jerkass: He becomes very angry at Alan after he surprises him with an appearance from his son on the show. While Alan should have cleared it with him first, Keith is still somewhat to blame for not remembering his own son's birthday. After this incident, Keith becomes increasingly nasty towards Alan.
- While Keith should have remembered his son's birthday, it's the way Alan disregards Keith's custody arrangements with his ex-wife that really makes him angry. First, Alan brought Keith's son onto the show on a day when Keith was legally not allowed to have contact with him. Second, Alan bought Keith's son a surprise trip to Disneyland with his mother and her partner, and scheduled it for the next weekend, which is when Keith was supposed to have his son and celebrate his birthday with him. While Alan didn't know all the details of the Hunts' custody arrangement, he did seem to know enough to keep reminding Keith to keep the legally mandated physical distance from his son.
Played By: David Scheider
Played By: Minnie Driver
- Statuesque Stunner: Played by the tall and beautiful Minnie Driver.
- Take-That Kiss: Gives one to Alan after he finds out she was born a man, which disgusts him. In response to his offensive behaviour, she kisses him hard and sarcastically says his catchphrase before departing.
- Unsettling Gender-Reveal: She assumes Alan has read her book, which he hasn't, and so the reveal is quite casual. Alan finds it very upsetting.
Played By: Melanie Hudson
Played By: Patrick Marber
Played By: Rebecca Front
Played By: Doon Mackichan
Played By: Patrick Marber
- Character Death: While handling Lord Byron's duelling pistols, Alan actually sets one off, shooting Forbes in the heart and killing him.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Instant Death Bullet: Alan shoots him through the heart, killing him instantly.
- Jerkass: A miserable, vile, bullying, homophobic man motivated entirely by hate.
- Karmic Death: Shot with the pistols that belonged to a man he hated, which he brought just to spite another man he hated.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: He has time to bark Be careful with that! before Alan shoots him.
I'm Alan Partridge
Played By: Barbara Durkin
The manager of the Linton Travel Tavern, Susan appears to be a stereotypical front-desk worker, with a dazzling smile and sickly sweet manner. However, even these forced skills are not enough to deal with Alan's clumsy, half-hearted flirting and mindless anecdotes. Alan frequently makes tactless comments to Susan about her appearance (once suggesting to her that she "could have been throwing up all night" but that her smile would not falter). In reaction to these comments, Susan's painted-on smile is sometimes momentarily replaced by a look of shock and bemusement.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Break the Cutie: Eventually, Alan's general Alanness gets to her.
- Rant Inducing Slight: At Alan's leaving party when he makes a mild joke at her expense, Susan leaps on the opportunity to tell him what she thinks of him.
Susan: Iíll tell you what my problem is! Having to listen to your crap for the last six months! Youíve been in this hotel for 182 days, you little shit! Ben, Sophie, I want you on reception. And you! Check out is twelve noon tomorrow!
- Stepford Smiler: Even when she's giving bad news, she has a great big smile.
Alan: What a lovely smile. You know, you could have been throwing up all night for all I know, and yet your smile wouldnít show it. I donít know, perhaps thatís how you keep your figure.
Played By: Sally Phillips
A recently employed receptionist at the Travel Tavern, Sophie is also rarely without a smile; however, in her case it is normally because she is suppressing a laugh over Alan's antics. While Susan brushes off Alan's social faux pas with a smile, Sophie is rarely able to control her laughter at Alan's appalling lack of social skills, and often has to leave reception to prevent laughing in his face. Much to Alan's annoyance, he is sometimes aware that Sophie often jokes about him behind his back.
Played By: James Lance
Ben is another member of staff at the Travel Tavern and Sophie's boyfriend. Alan is jealous of Ben's romance with Sophie, and does his best to sabotage their romantic trysts. In later episodes, Alan attempts to forge a friendship with Ben, despite Alan's earlier irritation at Ben's informal and somewhat laid-back manner. Predictably, Alan's attempts to befriend Ben are clumsy and unsuccessful.
Played By: Amelia Bullmore
Alan's thick-accented Ukrainian girlfriend. Sonja, who is fourteen years Alan's junior, possesses a very excitable, scatterbrained personality which leads Alan to describe her as 'mildly cretinous'. Easily amused, she delights greatly in pulling lame practical jokes and showering Alan with cheap (and unwanted) gifts such as London souvenirs and personalised coffee mugs and cushions emblazoned with their faces. She is very devoted to Alan and clearly treasures him, although he demonstrates little genuine affection for her in return and clearly bases their relationship around the ego-boost produced by their age difference and the sex.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Played By: Colm Meaney
An Irish radio DJ at North Norfolk Digital who, after being fired by the new owners, returns with a shotgun bent on revenge.
- Affably Evil: Pat might be the Big Bad, but he's a pretty genial fellow who spends a good part of the hostage situation chilling with Alan and Simon...albeit with a shotgun.
- Big Bad: Of Alpha Papa.
- The Mourning After: Pat still grieves for his wife, Molly.
- Sanity Slippage: After getting fired from his job at North Norfolk Digital, he gets very...shotgunny.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: His weapon of choice.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: A veteran DJ and widower who is callously fired by his heartless new bosses. He has nothing else to live for beside his job, and the loss of it makes him feel entirely worthless.
Played By: Nigel Lindsay
- Asshole Victim: A non-fatal example when he's tasered by a disgruntled employee he betrayed.
- Bad Boss: Jason is a dick to his employees who he sees as expendable unless he can use them for his own ends.
- Bigger Bad: His actions set off Pat's rampage, and his general behaviour causes problems.
- The Bully: Toward his employees, whom he treats like shit unless he thinks he can make money off them.
- Jerkass: Jason is just a basic asshole, only seeing people as tools to manipulate. He cruelly taunts Pat when he gets the drop on him.