The full trailer of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa debuted today, giving us a more rounded idea of what this unlikely movie's about. It seems that years-old reports about Alan being a hostage negotiator have proven accurate, although I seem to recall the idea was originally going to take place at BBC TV Centre and the culprit was al-Qaeda. Now it's the North Norfolk Digital radio station (well the BBC TV Centre has closed), and the villain's a disgruntled ex-employee called Pat (Colm Meaney)—whom Alan was secretly responsible for getting the sack.
The trailer certainly looks promising and there are some funny moments, but I can't see this one travelling wider than native fans of Steve Coogan's most famous creation—much like the TV shows. But is Alpha Papa cinematic? It feels like most of the action's going to take place inside a dimly-lit radio building in Norwich, with a brief excursion to a seaside pier (probably for the climax). I'm sure it could have been done as a TV special, but you don't make as much money that way.
Still, Alan gets some choice lines ("welcome to big school"), and it's great to see the return of his agent Lynn (actress Felicity Montague's first appearance since I'm Alan Partridge finished) and his Geordie friend Michael (Simon Greenall). The conceit that former chat show host Alan's now "chatting for his life" during a siege also works really well.
What do you think? Looking forward to Alan's big screen debut? Happy with the direction they've taken, or does it feel too small-scale for the cinema?
ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA premieres 7 August 2013.