Review: There has never been a Partridge moment more genius than this

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge

Despite my long acquaintance with the Partridge phenomenon, I find myself utterly unprepared for Alan’s practical demonstration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Despite my long acquaintance with the Partridge phenomenon, I find myself utterly unprepared for Alan’s practical demonstration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

As Alan explains during his short filmed insert on CPR during This Time with Alan Partridge (BBC1); although the British Heart Foundation use a basic head-and-torso model for their training, Alan prefers a full-sized 35kg realistic human replica with workable joints for his monthly practice.

Lugging the petite, fully dressed female model from the loft of his spacious home, it slowly dawns on us, if not Alan, that this “replica” he purchased from his friend – the late Pate Gabbatiss – some years ago is in fact a sex doll, complete with full lips and generously proportioned mouthparts to which Alan eagerly “docks” in the initial stages of saving its life after a putative overdose.

In this scenario, Alan is rescuing his sister-in-law Eileen, who has OD’d because she hates his brother so very much. “Come on Eileen” is the heartfelt plea as he checks for pulse and breath. As a musical accompaniment to the saving of a silicone love doll’s life, Alan rejects the usual beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees (“namby pamby”) in favour of Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust”, a “pounding rock number that injects a welcome dose of realism”.

I am racking my mind to think of a funnier bit of Partridge/Steve Coogan over his eventful 28-year long career but can’t. The chocolate-sex session/dirty protest in the Linton Travel Tavern; the full stilton slammed into the face of BBC head of commissioning Tony Hayers; the “king and car” sequence on Mid-Morning Matters; hiding in the septic tank of the chemical toilet on the Radio Norfolk roadshow bus; conversations with Michael at the BP garage: all brilliant, but none more genius than this.

Quite unnecessarily, at the conclusion of Alan’s first-aid class he advises This Time viewers: “Don’t forget to clean the mouth.” Rinsing Eileen’s cavity may be relatively straightforward, but not cleansing the memory of the image of Alan Partridge pummelling a rather primly-dressed sex doll. It is a wonder that, with its poor head bouncing as it does on hard flooring, the doll retains a beatific smile throughout. Lovely stuff.

In that respect at least, Eileen the doll resembles Alan’s co-presenter Jennie Gresham (Susannah Fielding), who seems to have got the knack of dealing with Alan by a mixture of humouring his eccentricities and ignoring his unscripted outbursts about his former wife, Carol. Somehow the pair of them manage to navigate a series of standard fluffy news-magazine items that quickly degenerate into unbroadcastable outrages against taste and decency, “Eileen” serving as a symbol of the show’s awfulness.

 

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Derry Girl Saoirse-Monica Jackson: ‘Yes, we have a harsh sense of humour’

The star of Channel 4’s comedy hit talks fame, facial contortions and globalising Northern Irish slang

In Derry, Saoirse-Monica Jackson’s face is painted across a wall, several metres high, alongside the four other lead cast members of Derry Girls. The mural was unveiled earlier this year to celebrate the second season of the Channel 4 hit comedy, and has been warmly received by residents of the Northern Irish city. They are, it seems, proud of how Lisa McGee’s series has put Derry in the spotlight – and for a more positive reason than those usually depicted in the city’s murals, which traditionally focused on the Troubles.

When I ask Jackson – who grew up in Derry – what she makes of it, she has almost no words, just about managing to say “amazing”.

“I’d love to have a more articulate answer,” she says apologetically, “but there’s a mural in my home town after this show – who could have imagined that would have happened?” Continue reading

Derry Girls wins Best Comedy at BPG Awards

Channel 4’s Derry Girls has won the Best Comedy award at Friday’s Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) Awards

Particularly distinguished at the awards ceremony were Killing Eve and A Very English Scandal which won three awards each, with Killing Eve’s star Jodie Comer being declared Best Actress.

The hit series, shown by the BBC was written by Fleabag actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge. It is based on Luke Jennings’s Codename Villanelle novella series, it was voted Best Drama Series and it also won the Best Online First/Streaming award [ . . . ]

More at RtE: Derry Girls wins Best Comedy at BPG Awards