Heads up: Top comment and controversy

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa reviews round-up

Resplendent in a short-sleeved baby blue suit and pink tie, Steve Coogan walked in to Norwich's Hollywood cinema last night as the character - Alan Partridge - that remains his best loved comic creation. But did Alpha Papa, the Radio DJ and presenter's film debut, live up to expectations?

Yes, firmly yes, says Catherine Shoard in the Guardian:

"It's a Fabergé egg disguised as a Kinder Surprise; an intricate piece of engineering done up to look like a whoopee cushion."

Plus, the transition from TV to film is handled well, says Shoard - with Partridge reinvented as a "real hero" and the plot bent into an appropriate arc.

The Independent's Adam Sherwin found plenty to enjoy:

"There are sufficient laugh-out-loud moments to allay the nagging suspicion that Alpha Papa is merely an overgrown television episode with a bigger budget."

But Robbie Collins, writing in the Telegraph, is less impressed. Partridge's comic power resides in his weakness. Making him appear strong, as Alpha Papa does at times, melts some of this power away - says Collins.

The Hollywood Reporter offers a useful interpretation of Partridge for an audience unfamiliar with the man:

"He embodies an uncomfortably familiar kind of Middle English conservatism: outwardly worldly and confident but essentially prudish, parochial, chauvinistic, narcissistic and mildly sociopathic"

International success is possible, they believe. A lot rests on Coogan's box-office appeal "though most of the jokes feel universal enough to travel".

React Now

Read Next
The victory of the NO campaign was confirmed at 6.08am on Friday morning  

Scottish referendum: Partisan fallout, Gordon Brown's comeback and Elizabeth, the Queen of unity

Jane Merrick
The central concept of Death Row Dinners is an interesting way  to make us think more about our food  

Out there: A death row diner, the other musicians taking a leaf out of U2's (i)book and rolling up my CV for a smoking hot job opportunity

Simmy Richman
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam