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Ads We Like: Alan Partridge pens a desperate email to his BBC co-workers in PR stunt


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

February 26, 2019 | 5 min read

It may have taken 24 years, but Alan Partridge is finally back with the BBC - well, they haven’t given him ‘another series,’ as such. According to an email sent out from Partridge ‘himself’ to the BBC’s 20,000 employees, they have “sidled up to [him] with a short-term offer to co-present your much-loved magazine show ‘This Time’.”

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge in This Time with Alan Partridge

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge in This Time with Alan Partridge

The show’s writers, Neil and Rob Gibbons created the email that went out ahead of the series premiere to the whole of BBC’s staff to urge them to tune in that night.

The email toyed with the playful nature of Partridge’s fictional, but very ‘real’ character (Roger Moore is said to have got in trouble with his Dad when he failed to fictionally show up to the broadcaster’s fictional show, Knowing Me Knowing You).

It is written in Partridge’s true desperately awkward tone and seeks to “clear the air of any residual stench” so he can assure his fellow workers that there are “no hard feelings,” after the BBC sacked him back in the ’90s for an on-air misdemeanour involving a turkey.

The king of tactlessness, in ‘clearing the air,’ Partridge manages to fit in an ill-mannered joke about his sick presenter, likening his busy diary to “John’s clogged up arteries,” name shames people for not "welcoming him back" before he ends the email by essentially begging his co-workers to "please, please, please, please tune in. Please tune in."

It proved a hit with BBC employees who took to Twitter to share the email. Those who tried emailing back were faced with a brazen auto-respond that called them a "mentalist" for even thinking about emailing him.

This isn’t the first time that Partridge has stepped out of the fictional realm to promote his character. Back in 2011, he turned up on The Jonathan Ross Show to market his new book - 'I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan.'

Discussing the email stunt, a BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC wanted to make some noise about the much-anticipated return of Alan Partridge. The most logical solution was for Alan to send an internal email, and nothing could be more ‘on brand’ than for it to be a misguided ‘all-staffer’ to his colleagues.

"The show’s brilliant writers Neil and Rob Gibbons created the email that was sent to over 20,000 internal BBC members of staff and produced lots of excitement. We even gave Alan his own email address, from which an Out Of Office reply would be sent to those who took the time to message him back.”

BBC: Alan Partridge BBC Email


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