Aha... Alan Partridge film could be set in Norwich

Spoof DJ Alan Patridge could be winging his way back to Norwich to make his big screen debut.

For comedy star Steve Coogan - who plays the clueless broadcaster - has hinted a new movie could be in the pipeline.

Coogan is currently promoting his new film The Trip at the Tribeca Film Festival, in New York.

While there with co-star Rob Brydon, he told Hollywood bloggers: 'We left it behind for while, but we came back to it because we got a few ideas.

'We're writing it right now, going to shoot it next year.

'Don't know who will direct it, but Pete Baynham and Armando Ianucci are writing it with me. We've already started it.'

Websites yesterday reported the film sounded 'a done deal'.

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But plot revelations were comfined to the fact Partridge's first foray onto the big screen would be based in Norwich.

The Fine City formed the backdrop in 1997, as Partidge took a job on the fictional Radio Norwich after accidentally shooting dead a guest on his BBC TV show.

In I'm Alan Partidge, the DJ offends all and sundry and is eventually crushed by a cow dropped off a bridge by angry Norfolk farmers.

A second series and one-off stints on comic relief followed but by 2004 there were mixed messages coming from Radio Norwich.

First, Coogan and writer Armando Iannucci said there were no further plans for the character, which was 'on ice'.

Then it emerged an un-named US studio was prepared to bankroll Patridge, the movie.

'It's always been my plan to make Alan go global,' Coogan said at the time. 'It's what he lives for really, not just doing the show on Radio Norwich.'

At one point, it was claimed Victoria Beckham would appear alongside Coogan as a demanding diva.

Another report said the plot of the film involved Alan Partridge attempting another comeback from local radio, only to have his ambitions thwarted when Middle Eastern terrorists hijack the BBC offices.

But instead of the rattle of AK47s, there was silence until last year, when Patridge appeared in a series of online lager commercials for Fosters.

At first, Iannucci distanced himself from speculation about the film. But last year, he apppeared to confirm that plot discussions were under way, when he said the movie was unlikely to be set in the states.

'And the Partridge news is that we've now agreed a story for the film,' he said. 'It's not Alan goes to America.'

As the news began breaking online yesterday, website Total Film was in no doubt regarding the project's appeal to fans - assuming shooting finally does begin.

'As every incarnation has provided endlessly-quotable hilarity, a Partridge movie has been at the top of fans' wish lists since forever,' it said.

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