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Steve Coogan returns as Alan Partridge in new BBC mockumentary

Steve Coogan returns as Alan Partridge in new BBC mockumentary

Steve Coogan will reprise his role as Alan Patridge in a new BBC mockumentary after almost five years on TV hiatus.

The new six-part series will follow the fictional presenter as he returns from a year working in Saudi Arabia and reintegrates into life in the UK.

The 30-minute episodes for the series called And Did Those Feet … With Alan Partridge (ADTFWAP), will be an exploration into mental health in Britain, said its creators.

Having been in development since 2019, the show was stalled by the Covid pandemic.

Partridge will explore six areas of wellbeing as he goes on a search to find a cure for feeling “incomplete”. Those areas include home life, work life, nature, relationships and hobbies as well as a sixth factor he’s not worked out yet.

Steve Coogan is to reprise his role for a new mockumentary (Getty)
Steve Coogan is to reprise his role for a new mockumentary (Getty)

Coogan’s character said: “The kingdom of Saudi Arabia enjoys extensive oil and natural gas reserves, but has also seen economic growth in other areas such as agricultural production, retail trade, construction, and transport. It directs some $69 billion to military expenditure each year. And yet despite all that, I somehow felt incomplete.”

The actor has been playing his most famous creation since 1997 when I’m Alan Partridge first aired on the BBC. The series ended in 2002, and Coogan has reprised the role for TV and movies in This Time With Alan Partridge and Alpha Papa. He also won awards for his portrayal of Jimmy Saville in The Reckoning.

Sarah Monteith, the chief executive of the production company Baby Cow, said: “We’re delighted Alan’s back from Saudi Arabia with his appetite for broadcasting undiminished.

“ADTFWAP promises to be exactly the sort of uncompromising, state-of-the-nation piece that the country needs, almost as much as he does.”

Writers/Executive producers Neil Gibbons (left) and Rob Gibbons arriving for the premiere of Alan Partridge : Alpha Papa, at the Vue West End in Leicester Square, central London. (PA)
Writers/Executive producers Neil Gibbons (left) and Rob Gibbons arriving for the premiere of Alan Partridge : Alpha Papa, at the Vue West End in Leicester Square, central London. (PA)

Jon Petrie, the BBC director of comedy commissioning told Deadline that the show was being recommissioned alongside a string of others including Diane Morgan’s Cunk, Dreaming Whilst Black, The Cleaner and Man Like Mobeen. He stressed that overnight ratings no longer featured in discussions on what directors decided to give the green light.

“I almost ignore them because that is just not our world,” he added. “A lot of our time is spent reminding talent about that. It’s quite frustrating when your baby gets put out to the world [and gets a low number of linear viewers] but you have to give things time.”

He added: “Alan Partridge is the most iconic comedy character in the UK. The wonderful Steve Coogan and [co-writers] Neil and Rob Gibbons continue to innovate and create an even richer world for Alan to inhabit.

“This unflinching look at the state of the UK through Alan’s eyes promises to add more brilliance to the Partridge canon.”