Video: Alan Partridge campaign begins outside Norwich City Hall

Campaigners at City Hall to bring the Alan Partridge film premiere to Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley Campaigners at City Hall to bring the Alan Partridge film premiere to Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

Saturday, June 22, 2013
2:07 PM

Ah Ha! Fans say it would be the perfect PR stunt - an open top double-decker bus ride through the city, towards a red carpet finale at Anglia Square, not Leicester Square, for Alan Partridge’s movie premiere.

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Campaign organisers from left, Rob and Donna Wilkes, and Rafiq Turnbull. Picture: Denise BradleyCampaign organisers from left, Rob and Donna Wilkes, and Rafiq Turnbull. Picture: Denise Bradley

With posters and placards, Partridge lovers gathered outside City Hall today to call for Alan Partridge to hold the premiere of his movie, Alpha Papa in Norwich, where his character is based.

What started as a quirky idea between two friends has grown into a campaign attracting thousands of fans on Facebook and retweets from Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan’s company, Baby Cow Productions.

Rob Wilkes, 39, who started the campaign with his friend Rafiq Turnbull, 40, said Norwich deserved to host the event instead of the bright lights of London - ‘in Anglia Square not Leicester Square.’

The two men, both Partridge fans, were overwhelmed with the response to the campaign.

Mr Wilkes, a graphic designer, said: “It’s been an absolute whirlwind but the next step will be to go national.

“We didn’t expect so many people to like the page, we expected 500 at most but it’s just taken off.”

“The people of Norwich demand this - this is our time for Norwich, we want to rally the people of Norwich to say he’s ours - we deserve it.”

Fans said it would be a PR stunt not to be missed, and that it was time Partridge gave something back to Norwich.

“More people would turn out to a premiere in Norwich than London,” said Mr Turnbull, “people would crowd the streets.”

With numbers creeping up to 4,000 in the last 48 hours, the two friends hope the campaign will go viral.

“He’s parodied this city for so long, London gets everything - this is a film about a much loved Norwich character and so the premiere should be here.”

The film, Alpha Papa, will be released on August 7, bringing back the much loved fictional radio and television presenter, portrayed by comedian, Steve Coogan.

And with fans eager for its release, highlights of the campaign efforts included a larger than life superman cut with Alan Partridge’s face attached.

Mr Wilkes said: “People behind the movie should embrace the campaign, he should be embraced as a cult hero here in Norwich.”

Mr Turnbull, a shop owner, said: “If we had the premiere here, we would invite Roger Moore, Bill Odie, Anthea Turner and Abba would DJ at the after party, Alan would love that.”

The campaign caused quite a sensation when fans flocked to the hall in their lunch breaks.

John Taylor, 42, of Bluebell Road, said: “I obviously had to come down, the one name people associate with Norwich is Alan Partridge so obviously the premiere has to be in Norwich.”

Siofra Connor, 32, an editorial assistant, of Queens Road, said: “I’ve come to support bringing something exciting to Norwich, and Alan Partridge is really exciting.

Organisers suggested Anglia Square as the perfect location for the big event.

Trevor Wicks, director of Hollywood Cinema, said: “I think it’s an excellent idea - I do like the tag line, it’s in the spirit of Alan Partridge.

“We would certainly make ourselves available should the premiere be held in Norwich - it sounds great, I just hope it’s not too late.

“We’ll start giving the place a new coat of paint!”

9 comments

  • The reason for not disclosing the fee is commercial, wouldn't be good if other film companies knew, because NCC couldn't charge them more. So it's in the public interest that it's kept secret.

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    Only Me

    Saturday, June 22, 2013

  • Mad Brewer

    Saturday, June 22, 2013

  • No idea who these Partridge fans are but I think the last thing Norfolk needs is to be associated in the minds of non Norfolk people with a t**t, even a fictional one. It is well known that the way the north is perceived deters businesses and individuals from relocating there and this I fear could also affect Norfolk. If we are going to attract teachers and other professionals and businesses from out of county we need to be seen as a beautiful county with a thriving city, outward looking and moving forward,not just a posh beach for wealthy Londoners and definitely not a place as made fun of by the likes of TV comedians and looking foolish as the " home" of a fictional hide bound idiot . The money from Coogan's production company is no doubt very welcome, but it is bad enough Norwich being the place to which soap characters disappear , without the Partridge connection.

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    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, June 23, 2013

  • With the smiles on all their faces, it looks like someone from City Hall had just announced that all the Council Tax and Housing Benefit backlogs had been cleared. Nah that's just Mission Impossible.

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    che bramley

    Friday, June 21, 2013

  • Back of the net!

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    One Horse Town

    Friday, June 21, 2013

  • Did anybody see Coogan on that Thursday night political chatshop? What a vacuous. egotistical tvvat.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, June 22, 2013

  • After the announcement yesterday that council budgets are to be cut by 10% the city council needs every penny it can get-however much that is- so I'm sure he would receive a warm welcome at city hall.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Friday, June 21, 2013

  • Daisy Roots - I agree Norfolk needs to be taken seriously. I've talked through this with friends at my workplace, the counselling service Relate.........or what we call it in Norfolk, Related.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Sunday, June 23, 2013

  • Peter the Council has been paid by the production company for Alpha Papa, but they have decided not to reveal exactly how much. I think they should come clean and tell us where this money will be spent on. What have they got to hide exactly I wonder?

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Friday, June 21, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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