Alan Partridge: The Royal baby upstaged Alpha Papa premiere
Thursday 25 July 2013
Fictional DJ Alan Partridge last night booed the Royal baby for stealing his thunder as he premiered his new film Alpha Papa.
Comedian Steve Coogan, appearing in character as his comedy creation, arrived in London's Leicester Square in a bright yellow Radio Norwich road bus.
Partridge thanked the crowd for coming and quipped: "There would have been more people but we got gazumped by Royal baby. Boo!"
The big screen spin-off of the hit TV show sees Partridge called in by police to help negotiate with his colleague Pat Farrell, played by Colm Meaney, who stages a siege after he is sacked from North Norfolk Digital radio station.
Partridge said: "It's a great film. It's not going to win any Oscars, let's be frank, because it's not about the Holocaust or mental illness. But I hope the film reaches out and touches people.
"If it stops one child from sniffing glue or throwing eggs at my car, then it will be a job well done."
Stars of comedy series I'm Alan Partridge Felicity Montagu, who plays his PA Lynn, Simon Greenall, aka Geordie BP garage woker and Phil Cornwell, who plays DJ Dave Clifton, all make an appearance in the film and also appeared on the red carpet.
Other celebrity guests included Hugh Grant, Al Murray and Rebecca Front.
Alpha Papa earlier had its world premiere in Partridge's hometown of Norwich. The Norfolk screening was the result of a Twitter campaign dubbed Anglia Square Not Leicester Square.
Partridge said: "This is the real premiere. The Norwich thing was just me throwing a bone to the dogs. That was just a tin pot sideshow, frankly. But they won't mind me saying that because they don't watch national news."
Presenting the film in Norfolk earlier he told fans "this film is my love letter to Norwich".
Speaking outside the Hollywood Cinema in Norwich, the hapless radio disc jockey said he was proud of Norwich but his love for the city was not in "an Operation Yewtree way".
He added: "£4 million has gone on this film which could have gone to a brand new anti-natal unit or Help For Heroes but we spent it on this film."
Partridge said he had chosen Norwich because he trusted Norfolk Police to protect him from a sniper while on the red carpet. The much-loved character - who once said "Go to London, I guarantee you'll either be mugged or not appreciated" - flew by helicopter later to London for a second showing.
Before the premiere, Partridge, who was wearing a sky-blue suit by tailor Gresham Blake, spoke to the press. Asked what Norwich had that London did not, he said: "A lot of flat landscape, the Wash, reclaimed land - these are things that London doesn't have and will never have.
"My favourite location during filming was Cromer Pier. I've been to Blackpool Pier, Brighton Pier, Southend Pier - but Cromer is quite simply the best pier."
More than 1,000 people turned up to watch him arrive. Alpha Papa director Declan Lowney said: "I don't think you get this sort of warmth in Leicester Square - there's a lot of love for Alan. He is a positive voice for Norfolk and I think people here get it.
"The film offers a lot of fun, a lot of danger and some heavy kissing."
Coogan co-wrote the film with Armando Ianucci and screenplay writer brothers Neil and Rob Gibbons. It was directed by Declan Lowney, whose credits include Father Ted and Little Britain.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa will be released on August 7, 2013.
Video: Alan Partridge on Alpha Papa
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