Last night's viewing - Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life, Sky Atlantic; Walking and Talking, Sky Atlantic

 

"The more I learn about Hitler the more I dislike him," said Alan Partridge sagely in Welcome to the Places of My Life, his personal guide to "Albion's hindquarters", "the Wales of the East"– or Norfolk, as the rest of us know it.

Hitler had come up because of the Führer's plans to make Norwich Town Hall a centre of regional government in the event of a successful German invasion of England, a historical detail that Partridge the film-maker (his name was on the credits as "director") took as a cue to fade up an echoey Hitler speech as Partridge the presenter stared pensively out over Norwich market. He'd already done a priceless bit of Schama-ing inside the building – storming through the corridors as he vividly recreated the terrible night on which Norwich came within a whisker of getting a blanket imposition of night-time parking fees. And now here he was tackling Norwich's place in global history. Is there nothing this man can't handle?

Steve Coogan can probably now do Partridge in his sleep. The character is fully there, with all its tics and grace notes, from the little sideways skitter of the eyes at the camera that betrays his essential amateurishness to the wildly inappropriate grandiosity. "This is my coalface, my canvas, my lathe," said Alan, leading the camera into the microphone-rigged broom cupboard that is his centre of operations at North Norfolk Digital. If he wasn't such a creep there would be something almost heroic about his determination to finesse his come-down into a professional choice, and the eagerness with which he enlists any detail, however banal, to help him do it. Introducing us to the second of the significant locations in his life, the Riverside Leisure Centre, he noted that it "boasts a controversial swooped roof" and then unwisely conducted an in-pool interview with the resident hydrotherapist, his questions getting increasingly spluttery as his energy flagged.

Real Partridge purists, though, may have felt that offered an image of the programme itself, which started confidently but later had some difficulty keeping its head above water. It wasn't that it wasn't funny – there were wonderful moments all the way through. It was just that it was muddled and a little impure, in a way the Iannucci-scripted series almost never were. So, while you could certainly imagine a Partridge-directed documentary including his pontifications about how to make your own walking stick ("rather than one of those aluminium ones made in China by kids, I prefer a traditional one, made in Britain... by trees"), it was harder to work out why he would have included a shot of him drooling all over the Range Rover salesman. Both funny, but not quite funny in compatible ways. Which, I can quite see, may well come across as unnecessarily picky.

Walking and Talking, Kathy Burke's new series, contains a lot of both, being essentially constructed out of Kath and Mary's walk home from school. Kath has the details of Burke's own childhood – alcoholic father, no mother and a tendency to score higher for Personality than Looks when her friends fill in the teen-mag love questionnaires. But this is played lightly here, not as emotional ballast. Kath introduces herself as a bundle of enthusiasms – for X-Ray Spex, Keith Waterhouse, Kes and Play for Today – and the mood is consistently sweet and innocent. When her friend Mary questions the knowledge of an older boy at school, Kath – the more knowing of the two – replies: "He's 18, Mary. Of course he knows everything!" Like Welcome to the Places of My Life, it's a bit all over the place formally, dropping in animations and sketch-like sequences featuring two nuns (one of whom is played by Burke herself). But the mood is consistent throughout – deeply affectionate for the child she was.

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee