An online campaign called Anglia Square Not Leicester Square, started by two fans, resulted in the world premiere of Alpha Papa, the Alan Partridge movie, being held in his native Norwich. It’s only fitting, given that the man himself has described the film as being “a love letter to the city,” and his famous hatred of London, that the film should have its first showing in the biggest cinema in town.
Norwich itself was happy to oblige, pulling out most of the stops for one of their most famous residents. Empire Magazine’s Chris Hewitt tweeted a picture of a particularly impressive sign:
— Chris Hewitt (@ChrisHewitt) July 24, 2013
By following the #PartridgePremiere hashtag, it was possible to see the action as it unfolded. Once the film finished, Alan himself then travelled by helicopter to London, where the somewhat less impressive Leicester Square premiere took place. Early reviews are extremely positive, with four stars across the board.
For those not in the know, Alan Partridge has a long history of outstanding comedy on UK screens, having been around for some twenty years or more. First coming to prominence as a bumbling sports reporter on Chris Morris’ pioneering TV series The Day Today, he’s become something of a folk hero who guarantees comic brilliance whenever he appears. He is Steve Coogan’s finest character and, as the actor has aged, he seems to have grown into the role in a very realistic way. Here’s a video of a short in-character interview at the Norwich premiere, courtesy of The Guardian:
Preview screenings for Alpha Papa begin in the UK on the 7th of August; a US release is currently unconfirmed but, with the great reception British comedy has in the US, it can’t be far off.