The last time BBC audiences saw Alan Partridge, he was being refused entry to Broadcasting House. The suits up in their ivory offices didn’t want a truth-talking troublemaker like him around, a man of the people, for the people, near some people.
Also, he’d forgotten his security pass.
Now, it’s a new chapter for Partridge on the Beeb. Following his 2020 – 2021 stint as co-presenter on weeknight light chat magazine programme ‘This Time’, he’s back with a fresh format. And Did Those Feet… with Alan Partridge is a new BBC documentary series following the presenter’s reintegration into life in Britain after spending a year working in Saudi Arabia. Will Norwich greet its prodigal son with a fatted calf or a cold shoulder?
As a reminder, Partridge’s time at ‘This Time’ ended in June 2021 when he enacted an on-air rebellion in the style of Network’s Howard Beale. In circumstances not exclusively due to the loss of an interview with Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal Princess Anne, Alan declared himself hopping mad and desperate for “something in the middle”.
Post-Brexit division and the culture wars had pushed Britain to extremes, he argued, and its people once again needed to occupy the middle ground. Inspired by his own words, Partridge derailed ‘This Time’ and took to the streets to rouse a rabble. It lost him the BBC gig and led to a year in Saudi Arabia chasing the morally questionable corporate video paycheque along with some fellow pundits-in-exile.
And now Partridge is back, and he’s thrown off the shackles of light entertainment to document his experience of homecoming and sharing wisdom along the way. He’s following on from 2016 Sky doc Scissored Isle with this multipart reflection on what it means to come home.
Actor-writer-producer Steve Coogan, and comedy writers Neil Gibbons and Rob Gibbons, may also be involved in the series, the title of which has been bouncing around production rumours for some years now. For Partridge completists, the story of Alan’s departure from ‘This Time’ and time in Saudi is covered by his most recent memoir Big Beacon, which follows his adventures renovating a lighthouse on the Kent coast.
More details for And Did Those Feet… including an air date and guest cast to follow.