Alan Partridge On Open Books With Martin Bryce - In The Press
Sky Atlantic's second Partridge offering, Alan Partridge On Open Books, was far too clever and self-indulgent for anyone's good.
Many of Partridge's much-loved comic quirks and foibles were on display, plus a new one - any offensive, slanderous or racist utterance was followed by an immediate "I take that back!", by way of a catch-all apology. Genius.
After last's week's welcome Partridge Pilgrimage, Steve Coogan gives us another one-off special, this time parodying the kind of quietly deferential book shows that pepper late-night arts schedules. Open Books is 'Norfolk's foremost forum for lovers of literature' and Alan, sporting a necktie, tweed and floppy hair, has his memoir to promote. No prizes for guessing he needs little help from his interviewer (played by Look Around You's Robert Popper) to dig himself into ever-sizeable holes as he tries to act the literary colossus.
After the glory years, it's comforting to see Alan returned to his natural enivrons of regional programming. Appearing on a literary discussion show to promote his autobiography, I, Partridge, Alan has to contend with both technical mishaps and awkward chat with the audience and the show's host, Chris Beale (sic) - the latter a made-to-measure foil played by Robert Popper. It's a notch down from last week's Norfolk heritage doc, with large portions of the show given over to Alan reading aloud from the book. But these recycled jokes more than bear repeating and his ill-considered philosophies on literature, which range from sexuality v sensuality to a deep love of wordplay, are priceless, and superbly delivered as ever.
Gabriel Tate, Time Out, 2nd July 2012
Last week's guide to Norfolk pressed the pedal marked "Partridge" to the floor and drove a comedy Range Rover Sport V8 directly into our faces; this is more of a slow-burning curio. Alan appears on a watery discussion show, Open Books with Martin Bryce, presented by Chris Beale (Robert Popper).
Jack Seale, Radio Times, 2nd July 2012
As the Norwich-based literary heavyweight takes to Sky Atlantic to discuss his autobiography, we compile some of his most important teachings...
Written by Tom Cole. Radio Times, 2nd July 2012
The second of Sky's Partridge specials sees Alan appearing on fictional literature show Open Books With Martin Bryce, hosted, confusingly, by someone called Chris Boyle (Friday Night Dinner scribe Robert Popper). Partridge discusses his inspirations and reads extracts from recent autobiography I, Partridge, covering much the same ground as the recent audiobook version of the tome. Luckily, there's some sharp interplay between Partridge and Boyle to propel things along; at one point the host suggests that Alan and literature don't sit well together in the mind's eye. "No, but they do sit well together in the brain's ear," replies Partridge.