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Fans from LA and Amsterdam coming to Alan Partridge Festival in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:53 29 February 2020

Superfan Paul Wassell is bringing the first Alan Partridge Festival to Norwich Credit: Steve Adams/Paul Wassell

Superfan Paul Wassell is bringing the first Alan Partridge Festival to Norwich Credit: Steve Adams/Paul Wassell

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Alan Partridge’s status as a worldwide icon has been confirmed with fans set to travel from far flung locations to a festival celebrating him in Norwich.

Film premiere of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa at Hollywood Cinema, Anglia Square, Norwich. Photo: Steve AdamsFilm premiere of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa at Hollywood Cinema, Anglia Square, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

We're Just Fans, Alan: The Alan Partridge Festival comes to the Mercure Hotel on Saturday, March 21 and will feature games, a quiz and even a special guest who featured in the sitcom.

The event has been created by superfan Paul Wassell, 34, from Stourbridge in the West Midlands who had an a-ha moment last summer as he was part of fan groups but realised there hadn't been a meet-up before.

Mr Wassell has never actually been to the city, but he is looking forward to dispelling some of the myths on the show when he visits for the first time as he has heard it is a beautiful place.

Since he launched the event, there has been a huge interest from fans of Steve Coogan's character and it is nearly sold-out, with almost 300 people already confirmed to attend, and guests are travelling from across the UK and even as far as Amsterdam and Los Angeles.

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He has also been scouring the country, using charity shops and eBay, to source props including shuttlecocks, a Cliff Thorburn snooker guide, some Terry's Chocolate Oranges and Dr Pepper merchandise.

Superfan Paul Wassell is bringing the Alan Partridge Festival to Norwich Credit: Paul WassellSuperfan Paul Wassell is bringing the Alan Partridge Festival to Norwich Credit: Paul Wassell

Mr Wassel, a former teacher who now writes educational resources, said: "We are going to have a quiz, an air guitar competition, lots of Alan Partridge-themed games and a really nice meal.

"We've got a special guest coming but their identity is a surprise and guests won't know until the day.

"I wrote to Steve about a year ago and haven't had a response but I think he is aware and if he wants to come on the day he is more than welcome."

The event runs from 4pm until midnight and there will also be a costume competition and the "three-star cooked meal" is beef and ale pie with mash, with a Thai green curry for vegetarians, and a chocolate torte for pudding.

Mr Wassell has organised the event alongside his wife Emily and James Rigby and Joe Murphy, who are fellow admins on the 'Alan Partridge - Greatest Quotes' Facebook page, and he hopes to get his children Stefan, 5, and Saskia, 2, into the show when they are older.

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Steve Coogan at a book signing at Jarrold in Norwich Credit: Paul John BayfieldSteve Coogan at a book signing at Jarrold in Norwich Credit: Paul John Bayfield

His favourite episode is the 'To Kill a Mocking Alan' episode when he is trying to win a contract from visiting Irish television executives and things go horribly wrong when he ends up at the house of obsessed fan Jed who exclaims "I'm just a fan, Alan".

Mr Wassell added: "I've loved Alan Partridge ever since I was at school and I would endlessly quote it with my mates and my family.

"I probably quote it to my children inadvertently and I will brainwash them at some point."

Alan Partridge is a parody of British television personalities and he is a DJ on the fictional Radio Norwich.

As well as a successful TV career, including 2019 series This Time With Alan Partridge, the fame-hungry DJ has also made the leap to the silver screen in film Alpha Papa which had its premiere at Hollywood Cinema in Anglia Square in 2013.

The last few tickets to the Alan Partridge Festival are available at eventbrite.co.uk

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