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
Keith from The Office ten years on

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams prepares to enter the House of Black and White as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones season five

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Albert Hammond Junior of The Strokes performs at the Natural History Museum on July 6, 2006 in London, England.

music
Arts and Entertainment
Howard Mollison, as played by Michael Gambon
tv review
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech

The best TV shows and films coming to the service

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Muscling in: Noah Stewart and Julia Bullock in 'The Indian Queen'

opera
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

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.

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn