TV listings | Alan’s back!
The pathos of an entertainer unable to leave behind his most popular creation is one worthy of the finest Greek tragedy. And they don’t come more gut-wrenching than Steve Coogan and the apparent stranglehold Alan Partridge has had over his career.
Because as many minor Hollywood films as this subtly brilliant comic genius makes, and as many new TV characters he creates, he’s always there – it’s an uncomfortable relationship that Coogan openly acknowledges, reaping tremendous comic mileage out of in The Trip.
Alan Partridge’s Mid-Morning Matters is a radio version of his TV chat show Knowing Me, Knowing You from the mid-1990s – a return to a winning formula that makes good sense given how stale Partridge’s life had become outside the studio. While the first series of I’m Alan Partridge (1997) was one of the best sitcoms of the 1990s, the second (2002) was a tired affair – not dissimilar to the Partridge autobiography, which will be made into a film later this year.
Also poignant, and probably heading for the cinema, is the story of David Headley, the half-Pakistani, half-American who scouted the key targets of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that left 164 dead, and a year later visited the Jyllands-Posten offices in Copenhagen on a similar mission. The perfect terrorist (DR2, Wed 23:00) reveals how it failed.
More terror is inflicted in The Slap (SV2, Sun 20:00), an eight-episode series set in Melbourne, where a grown man’s unwise decision to hit a child is told from the perspective of eight different characters, each time revealing a little bit more.
Elsewhere, 2011 mixed martial arts doc Fightville (DR2, Tue 20:40) has been panned by the critics despite a promising premise; watch the Alan Carr: Chatty Man Xmas 2012 special (BBC Ent, Sat 23:05) just weeks after its UK screening; there’s another chance to see the acclaimed Carlos (DRK, Sat 12:25) and the doc President Reagan (DRK, ep1: Fri 16:30, ep2: Thu 21:00); don’t miss the third season of The Big C (SV1, Sun 22:50); and sit back and enjoy Man United vs Liverpool (K6, Sun 14:00) followed by Arsenal vs Man City – a belting afternoon of Premiership action this Sunday afternoon.
See this week's full TV listings on page 20 of our InOut section