This Time with Alan Partridge: Steve Coogan comedy on ABC iview

The funniest show on British television came to an end after six glorious episodes this week — and as of today, it’s also available for Australian viewers to watch for free in full.

This Time With Alan Partridge marks the latest outing for the character that comedian Steve Coogan and Veep creator Armando Iannucci first devised way back in 1991.

Partridge is a consistently inept veteran light entertainment personality: ruled by ego, an appalling listener and cack-handed public speaker and yet somehow — perhaps by virtue of being a straight white man — he remains gainfully employed.

Alan’s got a new gig.

Source: This Time with Alan Partridge: Steve Coogan comedy on ABC iview

Alan’s got a new gig.Source:Supplied

In his latest outing, Alan has been handed a career lifeline: He’d been slumming it as a presenter on a North Norfolk digital radio station when he’s whisked back to the hallowed corridors of the BBC in London.

He’s the new stand-in co-host of weekday lifestyle show This Time, the show’s regular host having fallen ill.

Scene one, episode one and he’s already feeling the pressure:

Alan Partridge is back… and it’s about time!#ThisTime. Tonight. 9.30pm. @BBCOnepic.twitter.com/MvF23TYFcF— BBC Comedy (@bbccomedy) February 25, 2019

Partridge and perpetually chipper co-host Jennie Gresham have a total lack of chemistry, Gresham gamely trying to keep her program on the rails while her new co-host demonstrates time and time again he’s really not the man for this job.

It’s hilarious — and frequently ridiculous. Here’s Alan giving viewers an unsolicited demonstration of how to use a public toilet without ever once using your hands:

Alan Partridge’s Hands-Free Train Toilet Drill will revolutionise your life. #AlanPartridge #ThisTimepic.twitter.com/WVTXYPU4AF— BBC Comedy (@bbccomedy) February 25, 2019

Alan doing his best to build a rapport with a guest who can only be described as Quite Scottish:

Alan has always been a man of the people. #ThisTimepic.twitter.com/Ppb40MrbZG— BBC Comedy (@bbccomedy) March 11, 2019

Alan furiously trying to down an entire sandwich — seeded bread — during a brief commercial break:

“You’ll never break it down”#ThisTime with Alan Partridge, Monday night at 9:30pm on @BB

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Fawlty Towers named greatest ever British TV sitcom

John Cleese in Fawlty Towers

Comedy experts position series set in a chaotic hotel above Father Ted and I’m Alan Partridge

Fawlty Towers has been named the greatest ever British TV sitcom once again by a panel of comedy experts compiled by the Radio Times.

The comedy series set in a chaotic Torquay seaside hotel managed by an incompetent and highly strung hotelier played by John Cleese, was ranked above Father Ted, which chronicled the lives of three dysfunctional Irish priests and their housekeeper, and I’m Alan Partridge, in second and third place respectively.

Although Fawlty Towers ran for only two series, the popularity of its 12 episodes has endured and it is often re-broadcast, with the co-writer, Connie Booth, saying the show succeeds because it allows “infantile rage and aggression” to flourish even within “well-mannered English society”.

Basil Fawlty’s one-liners have gone down in comedy folklore. In one episode, a hotel guest complained that he was not satisfied, to which he replied: “Well, people like you never are, are you?”

During another, a guest asked if anywhere serves French food. Fawlty retorted: “Yes, France, I believe. They seem to like it there. And the swim would certainly sharpen your appetite. You’d better hurry, the tide leaves in six minutes.”

In a thinly veiled jibe at the broadcaster’s current management, Cleese said he was lucky to be working at the BBC when decisions were taken by people who had actually made programmes and paid tribute to his co-stars and producer, John Howard Davies, who directed the first six episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

“I’m proud we are up there with Porridge and Only Fools and Ab Fab and Blackadder and The Office and Reggie Perrin and The Thick of It,” he told the Radio Times.

Fawlty Towers co-writer Connie Booth told the magazine: “It’s unique in being a farce, with all the plot surprises and precision that the style requires. And it doesn’t hurt that the star of the show is a six–foot-five comic genius; if he was shorter I can’t imagine how it would have worked.”

Richard Curtis and Ben Elton’s historical sitcom, Blackadder, starring Rowan Atkinson, was fourth on the list, with Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s 80-episode, half-century-old Dad’s Army in fifth.

Only Fools and Horses, featuring Peckham wheeler-dealers the Trotter family, was named sixth best sitcom of all time, ahead of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais’s prison-based comedy drama, Porridge, in seventh.

Fawlty Towers was also named the best British sitcom of all time in a survey of comedians, comedy writers and actors in 2017.

Source: Fawlty Towers named greatest ever British TV sitcom

Elsa Lanchester stuff

Elsa with Dick Cavett part 1

elsa-lanchester_young
Young Elsa

Thanks to her bohemian upbringing, Lanchester was always looking for venues to express her creativity. In the mid-1920s she decided to open a nightclub in London called Cave of Harmony. This gave Lanchester an outlet for performance, as well as becoming a popular meeting spot for London artists and intellectuals such as H.G Wells, Aldous Huxley and James Whale.

Cavett Show Part 2
Bride of Frankenstein

Lawton released three LP albums in the 1950s. Two were entitled “Songs for a Shuttered Parlour” and “Songs for a Smoke-Filled Room” and were vaguely lewd and danced around their true purpose, such as the song about her husband’s “clock” not working. Laughton provided the spoken introductions to each number and even joined Lanchester in the singing of “She Was Poor But She Was Honest”. Her third LP was entitled “Cockney London”, a selection of old London songs for which Laughton wrote the sleeve-notes. – Wikipedia

Sister Wendy, nun and television art critic, dies aged 88

Sister Wendy Beckett, the nun and art critic who found fame in the 1990s with her popular TV documentaries on art history, has died aged 88.

Sister Wendy, born in South Africa in 1930, died on 26 December at the Carmelite Monastery at Quidenham in Norfolk. 

Sr Wendy joined a teaching order, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, in 1947 at the age 16. Recognising her intelligence, the order sent Sr Wendy to Oxford University in 1950, where she was awarded a Congratulatory First Class degree in English literature.

Sister Wendy

She returned to South Africa in 1954 to teach but, after 15 years, she was forced to give up the classroom after having epileptic seizures. in 1970, the Vatican gave permission for her to pursue a life of solitude and prayer.

Her order agreed to her living under the protection of the Carmelites in Norfolk as a hermit, devoting herself to prayer.

In her caravan in the grounds of the Carmel, Sr Wendy began to study art history, and in 1988 she published her first book, “Contemporary Women Artists”, to raise money for the convent.

She also began writing a weekly art column for the Catholic Herald.

In 1991, the BBC commissioned her to present a television documentary on the National Gallery in London.

Sr Wendy, who presented the programme unscripted dressed in a traditional black and white habit that she had designed herself, proved hugely popular.

Further programmes followed including “Odyssey”, “Sister Wendy’s Grand Tour” and “Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting”.

Her popularity was so great that she even had a musical written about her. “Postcards from God: The Sister Wendy Musical”, created by the originators of “Jerry Springer: The Opera”, ran briefly in the West End.

Sr Wendy presented her final series in 2001, after which she declined offers of TV work.