Alan Partridge movie premiere brings national attention to Norfolk
There has been no escaping coverage of the Norwich premiere of new Alan Partridge movie.
Partridge, played by comedian Steve Coogan, was pictured on the red carpet at the Hollywood Cinema in Anglia Square in national newspapers and television news bulletins.
The Independent newspaper even put the Norwich premiere on its front page.
Stefan Gurney, project manager of the Norwich BID (Business Improvement District), thinks the Norfolk-based film can only help to raise the profile of the area.
Mr Gurney was lucky enough to have a ticket for the premiere after working closely with Visit Norwich to help prepare for the premiere.
'Norwich got coverage on Newsnight, the Today programme on Radio Four, and all those sorts of spaces. Alan Partridge himself said at the evening premiere in London about the Norwich one,' said Mr Gurney.
'So I think we have to take it as there is no such thing as bad publicity and to take it all in the spirit that it is meant.
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'I think the film is a really nice representation of the area. When we were all in there watching there were cheers when Cromer and Norwich came up on the screen, so it was well received in the local community and nationally, so that raises the profile.
'Gone are the days when Partridge was considered a negative thing. I think people realise it is tongue in cheek now.'
That Partridge-style humour was summed up perfectly when he spoke to the Independent at the Leicester Square premiere later in the day, saying: 'This is the real premiere. The Norwich thing was just me throwing a bone to the dogs. That was just a tin pot sideshow, frankly.
'But they won't mind me saying that because they don't watch national news.'
One of the local people to be given a cameo role in Alpha Papa was BBC Look East presenter Stewart White, reading headlines for TV coverage of the film's hostage situation.
Mr White's first appearance on screen was greeted with cheers in the Anglia Square premiere but he was not there to enjoy them, as he and his wife had been invited to the Leicester Square premiere.
The newsreader played down his role but said he enjoyed walking down the red carpet and rubbing shoulders with stars such as Hugh Grant and Olympian Sir Chris Hoy.
'I spent the first half wondering if my parts had been left on the cutting floor, but by the end I was pleased it was over,' joked Mr White.
'My wife laughed out loud several times and people started laughing from the moment the film started, so I think there some very funny moments.'
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