This Time with Alan Partridge – BBC1

This Time with Alan Partridge
(Image credit: BBC/Baby Cow/Colin Hutton)

This Time with Alan Partridge sees the broadcaster makes a return to prime time TV when he is asked to stand-in as guest presenter on a BBC One magazine show

Steve Coogan brings back his most famous creation, presenter Alan Partridge, in his original setting – on a ‘live’ TV show.

Alan stands in as the co-host of evening magazine show This Time while the regular presenter is off sick.

It’s Alan’s big comeback opportunity, but the pained looks on the face of his colleague Jennie (Susannah Fielding) as she tries to disguise her feelings about her sofa sidekick make it clear that it’s not a partnership made in heaven.

Alan’s exaggerated sense of his own capabilities, his faux pas and excruciating ad-libs are once again brilliantly and hilariously brought to life by comic genius Steve Coogan.

Welcome back, Alan.

TV Times rating: *****

This Time with Alan Partridge

Steve Coogan is back as Alan Partridge (Image credit: BBC Studios/Andy Seymour)

Steve, 53, tells TV Times all about Alan’s big comeback with This Time with Alan Partridge

How does it feel to play Alan again?

It feels right. Because I’ve had some success in other areas, I’m more inclined to want to do Alan Partridge again. It makes me laugh.

Did you have to do anything to get into the character?

I don’t really have any rituals. It feels like second nature to me. I have 25 years of history with Alan.

We see Alan in some behind-the-scenes moments in this series…

When Alan’s on camera, he knows he’s being watched, so it’s about how he edits his behaviour. But when you show him off-camera, you can see his innermost thoughts.

Is any of the series improvised?

Once the script is settled on, it’s pretty locked in. Every single pause is written into the script. The appearance of things being random is the result of almost surgical work.

Has Alan changed over the years?

If you look at his views 25 years ago, they would have been those of an uber-conservative Little Englander and now he’s more nuanced. I think there’s more humour to be mined from people who are attempting to adopt correct thinking and not quite getting it right.


Mandy Cooper
TV Times Highlights Editor

As TV Times Highlights Editor I get to hear about all the latest TV shows coming soon. Here at TVT HQ we are in the privileged position of selecting the best programmes from across all the channels and streaming platforms. Our mission is to make it easier for our readers to decide what to watch - and give them lots of choice of genres - all the latest shows, plus some nostalgic choices we call hidden gems, too. My career began with a postgraduate degree in periodical journalism (ahem, yes old school!) in 1991 and I’ve worked in TV media since 2000.