Patrick Marber. Copyright: Fran Hergessal.

Patrick Marber


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BCG Features

Press Clippings

The not-so textbook evolution of Alan Partridge

As Steve Coogan's comedy alias returns to the BBC, the character's co-creator and scriptwriters reflect on the journey so far.

Darren Richman, Little White Lies, 10th February 2019

How The Day Today changed satire forever

25 years ago, Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci's uproarious news spoof unleashed Fake News on the world (not to mention Alan Partridge).

Phil Harrison, The Guardian, 17th January 2019

Bunk Bed is a show that seems strange when you explain it. Now in its fifth series, the show is simply a recording of grown men Patrick Marber and Peter Curran lying in the dark in a bunk bed, talking about life, the universe and "the velocity you're expected to travel at, just to keep up". Though the result sounds like stream of consciousness, there is much sharp editing going on, and this is a funny show. Last week, Curran worried that he was never bored, while Marber confessed to being bored most of the time and, also, to being boring to young people: "As soon as you utter the two words "I" and "remember" conjoined, young people, understandably, just think, 'shut up'."

Last week, Curran, who often plays clips to trigger conversation, opened by playing one that referenced James Bond. Marber said he thought James Bond was a bit pathetic. "Is this you being a middle-aged man trying to claw back some sensitivity?" wondered Curran. And later: "Are you still a nasty piece of work?" Marber's contributions included: "Were you a bit Spandau?" and "All I can see is Old Ma Curran in a pair of grey shorts." They do make me laugh. "I think we're entering the pompous stage of our lives," remarked Marber. "Pontification occurs in your 60s, we're pre-pontification."

Actually, they're both quite modest, and it's nice to hear middle-aged blokes talking humorously about their mundanities, as opposed to bigging up their supposedly impressive achievements. Ahhhh. Taking a bath in the weird is always refreshing.

Miranda Sawyer, The Guardian, 22nd July 2018

There were many frissons of delight in this documentary looking back at Partridge's legacy, not least the realisation that the humour has aged not one bit. It is the humour of desperation, awkwardness and of a sublime lack of self-knowledge: and Coogan does it even better than Cleese, and has done ever since (as we find out here, with so many sharp talking heads) he paused an early radio recording to nip off to Lilywhites and re-emerged in the studio emblazoned with Pringle's finest sports-casual. In that moment Partridge was born.

I suspect we need him now even more than then, as a Greek chorus to our desperately febrile times, and a reminder that we will not - do not deserve to - survive without the ability to laugh at and with ourselves.

Euan Ferguson, The Guardian, 2nd January 2018

Alan Partridge: Why, When, Where, How and Whom? review

A celebratory look at the 25-year career of Steve Coogan's creation revels in the pathos behind the sports-casual wear.

Emine Saner, The Guardian, 28th December 2017

Review - Alan Partridge: Why When Where How and Whom?

Steve Coogan's monstrous comic icon is all set to return to the BBC next year with a new Brexit-related show, so as a nice curtain-raiser this documentary about Alan Partridge works as both a laugh-packed clips show and a history of the spoof celebrity who put Norwich on the map.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 24th December 2017

Preview: Alan Partridge: Why, When, Where, How & Whom?

This richly textured account of the craft involved in that early development and the ongoing story of how, through Coogan's virtuoso performance, Alan remains one of the most beloved comic creations of the last few decades.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 11th December 2017

Standups on why they quit comedy

She may be one of the favourites for this year's Edinburgh Comedy awards, but Hannah Gadsby is about to call time on her career. Here, Gadsby, Patrick Marber, Natalie Haynes and Simon Fanshawe explain why they hung up their microphones.

Brian Logan, The Guardian, 16th August 2017