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Dear Alan Partridge. This is why I am truly your number one fan

PUBLISHED: 12:08 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:54 08 February 2019

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

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

As part of our celebration of Norfolk-based television comedy creation Alan Partridge, David Powles pens him a letter to claiming to be his number one fan.

Dear Alan,

You don’t know me and we’ve never met. We’ve been in the same room together once before (I was at your fantastic movie premiere in Norwich’s Anglia Square back in 2013), but I’ve no reason to believe you noticed me or we made eye contact.

However, I’d like to lay claim to being your number one fan. I don’t mean in a weird, stalker type of way. I’m no Jed Maxwell. Don’t worry, I won’t make you come to my house where I’ll unveil a Partridge shrine and my massive tattoo of your face on my chest. That said if you did fancy a beer sometime, please do give me a call. Please do call.

I guess you’re probably wondering by now why I would dare to make such an outlandish claim? It’s not like you are short of fans all over the world, is it?

Film premier of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa at Hollywood Cinema, Anglia Square, Norwich, which has now closed
Photo: Steve AdamsFilm premier of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa at Hollywood Cinema, Anglia Square, Norwich, which has now closed Photo: Steve Adams

I guess it’s because I feel that not only is your series one of the sharpest, funniest and cleverest comedies in British history - but also because Alan Partridge (you) seem to have been linked to the life of David Powles (me) in so many ways and wherever I go.

And that’s largely because of your strong ties to what I believe is the best city in the whole wide world - Norwich - a place I can tell that we are both passionately fond of.

I know that initially many people in Norwich were a bit wary of the way you were putting our city ‘on the map’. Many seemed to think it made a mockery of us and was something that we should try to ignore.

But, to be honest, I’ve always been the complete opposite. I wear it like a badge, though I don’t actually have an Alan Partridge badge of course - I mean metaphorically speaking.

The Alan Partridge film premiere at Hollywood at Anglia Square. Picture: Denise BradleyThe Alan Partridge film premiere at Hollywood at Anglia Square. Picture: Denise Bradley

So when I went to university, told people I was from Norwich and got an instant ‘aha’ back from them, it made me proud.

When I travelled the world, tried to explain to people where Norwich was and eventually resorted to describing it as ‘where Alan Partridge is from’, I didn’t mind.

When people come and visit and ask if I can take them to the ‘Longstanton spice museum’, I don’t even mind having to explain to them that there is no such place as Longstanton and that you probably meant Long Stratton but that doesn’t have a spice museum either. Cracking great owl sanctuary though.

And even now, when I go to festivals and my friends introduce me to their friends as ‘basically Norwich’s real-life Alan Partridge’ I’m not embarrassed, I even walk a bit taller because of it. Don’t worry I fully realise the REAL Alan Partridge is my BBC Radio Norfolk colleague Wally Webb.

Alan Partridge's face outside Hollywood Cinema at Anglia Square as the cinema gets ready for the Alan Partridge film premiere 'Alpha Papa'. Picture: Denise BradleyAlan Partridge's face outside Hollywood Cinema at Anglia Square as the cinema gets ready for the Alan Partridge film premiere 'Alpha Papa'. Picture: Denise Bradley

Fortunately, 12 years ago I managed to secure a job and a move back to our fine city. You’ll be pleased to know that’s given me even more of an opportunity to celebrate and champion your link to Norwich and Norfolk.

Often it will be through simple quotes. I’m sure my wife has grown more than tired of hearing me proclaim that ‘I’m going nowhere, quite literally on the ring road’ every time we are literally going nowhere on the ring road.

And what about my poor work colleague Dan, who has many times had to put up with cries of ‘Dan, Dan, Dan’ across the newsroom. He’s stopped talking to me for some reason.

When something good happens I celebrate with a ‘back of the net’, when my luck is in it’s a ‘cashback’ and when a good friend decided on a ‘scary characters’ theme for their stag do it was all the prompt I needed to head to the city for a shower curtain, some tungsten tipped screws (never gonna use them) and biscuits to turn myself into ‘Zombie Alan’ for the evening.

Norwich Evening News Alan Partridge front coverNorwich Evening News Alan Partridge front cover

(I would say though Alan, the costume doesn’t hold up well out in the real world and by the end of the evening I did just look a bit like a weirdo wearing a shower curtain and cap.)

But I’m most proud of how my job as a journalist has really enabled me to embrace all that is great about your world.

When you brought that movie premiere to Anglia Square (not Leicester Square), not only did my colleague and I turn up ‘full Alan’ in our dress, but I took great pride in getting the world’s VERY first review online. It was very gushing of course.

And the special double-page movie poster-style front page of the Norwich Evening News the next day still remains one of the proudest professional creations of my career. Yes, Alan, it’s THAT good!

Can I conclude by thanking you Alan for all that you have done to put Norwich and Norfolk on the map.

But I’d also like to think that after reading this you might wish to thank me too, for all that I have done to promote the name Alan Gordon Partridge wherever I have gone.

AHA Alan. AHA!

David Michael Powles

See Heaven magazine in tomorrow’s EDP for more on Norfolk’s number one DJ...

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