KMKYWAP never really worked for me either. It was just slightly too much to accept that this pillar of ineptitude would have a prime time chat show. He was too exaggerated in his awfulness, his rudeness, his incompetence. So I couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy it. Even dreadful presenters in real life still have some modicum of professionalism to them. It felt like what it was - a scripted facsimile of a BBC show with certain elements enhanced to play for laughs, rather than what it thought it was - a satire of 90s primetime pap.
This is exactly the same issue with TTWAP. It is not a satirical take on vapid magazine shows like The One Show, as it likes to think. It's a scripted sketch show with an outdated and unsuitable comedy character parachuted in to make it more awful. It is awful, but not in the way they intended. It's like Captain Mainwaring appearing in Not The Nine O'Clock News.
Plus the BBC couldn't lynch The One Show anyway - they'd be taking the piss out of one of their staple programmes. So they have to content themselves with a half-baked ribbing and no more, which makes you wonder why they bothered.
Alan Partridge is a comedy character and works best in comedy environments. Which is why IAP was a triumph and TTWAP isn't. It worked so well because it was a straight-up, loud and proud sitcom with a laughter track, not some subversive, post-Office study of British awkwardness. It was great in 1997 and it's great now. It played for laughs - and got them frequently - by giving this hapless individual the breathing space to flourish into his uptight, conservative, ignorant, pathetic self. The character became fully rounded - still a twat, but with depth. And we ended up rooting for him despite everything. (Plus you couldn't help but love the non-essential but brilliant sidelines such as his morning handovers to Dave Clifton or his recurring vision of lap-dancing for Tony Hayers.) KMKYWAP tried to crowbar his dreadfulness into a live-audience format and it didn't carry. For me anyway.
There's an added issue these days which is that Steve Coogan has morphed into AP in the same way I wonder how fuzzy the line between David Brent and Ricky Gervais is. AP is now a totally different character, even down to the way he speaks. Why does he roll his Rs all the time? And he seems to have been the same age for the last 25 years. It's just plain odd now. The greatest irony of all is that it's Steve Coogan who's been brought back to the BBC, past his prime, for a final shot. In the same way that the immortal but unrecognisable Simpsons seems to have lost all self-awareness, so has he.