Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge
Mid Morning Matters is a British digital radio show parody written by Steve Coogan, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons and Armando Iannucci, produced by Baby Cow Productions and funded by the British arm of Australian lager company Foster's, starring Coogan as fictional radio DJ Alan Partridge. The first of twelve 15-minute episodes was uploaded to the Foster's Funny website on 5 November 2010, and then available on YouTube. Six 30-minute episodes titled Alan Partridge Mid Morning Matters: Special Edition, edited from the web series, began airing on Sky Atlantic HD in July 2012 as part of a deal between producers Baby Cow and BSkyB. A second series consisting of six episodes was announced on 1 July 2014 to air on Sky Atlantic in 2016 with a premiere date of 16 February.
|Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge|
|Created by||Steve Coogan|
|Written by||Steve Coogan|
|Directed by||Ted Dowd|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||12 (Series 1 online)|
6 (Series 1 Sky)
6 (Series 2).
|Executive producer(s)||Steve Coogan|
|Running time||15 minutes approx.|
30 minutes approx.
|Production company(s)||Baby Cow Productions|
Baby Cow Productions
(As Foster's Funny)
(As 2entertain Video Ltd.)
Baby Cow Productions
Sky Atlantic HD
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Original release||5 November 2010 –|
22 March 2016
|Preceded by||I'm Alan Partridge|
|Followed by||Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life|
The show is shot from the perspective of a webcam in the studio of fictional station 'North Norfolk Digital'. In Mid Morning Matters Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) is back working as a disc jockey, after the failure of his television career. He is usually joined by 'Sidekick Simon' (Tim Key) who eventually leaves or is fired due to Alan's gradual dislike towards him. Alan is noticeably annoyed when he discovers that Simon has started guesting as a sidekick on another radio show (Bedtime with Branning). After Simon's departure, Alan recruits a new sidekick, Zoe (Pippa Duffy), and quickly develops a crush on her. In the final part of series one, Zoe reveals she is going travelling for three months, much to Alan's disappointment. The episode ends with a shot through the window into the recording booth as Zoe hugs Alan and gives him a kiss on the cheek; there is no sound and it is unknown what Alan has said to warrant this reaction. This is a rare low-key ending to an Alan Partridge series with the high point coming in Episode 10 when Alan rebukes Sidekick Simon for his role in a practical joke on him.
Production and TV airing
In August 2010, it was reported that Alan Partridge would make a comeback series online for lager company Foster's. On 8 October 2010, it was announced that the new show, entitled Alan Partridge's Mid Morning Matters, would premiere on 5 November 2010 on Foster's comedy site, fostersfunny.co.uk. In a press release, Steve Coogan announced, in character:
"I am delighted to announce that after years as a regional broadcaster on North Norfolk Digital my groundbreaking radio segment, Mid Morning Matters, will now be accessible to a potential audience of billions via the World Wide Web (www).
That it has taken Foster's to help realise my dream of joining the information superhighway is a damning indictment of the established broadcasters whose shabby treatment of me on Sept 10th 2001 was frankly shabby. I made dozens of calls the next day, all of which were ignored.
My appreciation must go to Armando Iannucci and Baby Cow for ignoring the lies, God bless them. In the meantime I look forward to 'hanging out 'n' chillin' with the MySpace generation."
After the six episodes aired online, in December 2010, Armando Iannucci confirmed on Twitter that "there will be 6 more 'Alan Partridge Mid Morning Matters' starting in February." This series started on 4 February 2011, as episode 7, and ran every Friday until episode 12 on 11 March 2011.
In Episode 3, released on 18 November 2010, Alan invites listeners to vote for "simply the best of Norfolk" (who is the best person Norfolk has produced?) in which he makes reference to Bernard Matthews ("he is tantalisingly close to producing the ten-pence turkey, now there's a thought..."). Matthews died a week later on 25 November 2010.
Following the series, Alan appeared again as part of the Red Nose Day 2011 set for a one-off show akin to the Mid Morning Matters arrangement, and here Side-kick Simon reappears in his former capacity. Here, Alan interviews a nun over whom he sneezes blood by mistake. The series was written by Steve Coogan, Rob Gibbons, Neil Gibbons and Armando Iannucci.
In November 2011, it was reported that the series' producers, Baby Cow Productions, were nearing a deal with BSkyB that could see other Steve Coogan projects produced for Sky1 HD and Sky Atlantic HD. The deal is likely to include rights for Sky to broadcast the TV premieres of the second series, expected online in 2012, and a Christmas special of Mid Morning Matters.
The idea of a deal involving Steve Coogan and BSkyB surprised many, due to his very public antipathy toward media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his company 21st Century Fox, who own a controlling 33% of BSkyB. Coogan, along with other celebrities and crime victims, was the target of an answer-phone message hacking operation undertaken by News Corporation.
Series one contained twelve episodes that had a varied running time between 10–15 minutes, which have been doubled up to fit into a run of six 30-minute episode slots.
North Norfolk Digital and Alan's radio show Mid Morning Matters form the setting for the 2013 movie Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, along with his sidekick Simon.
Series two of Mid Morning Matters began airing on Sky Atlantic on 16 February 2016. As with the first series on Sky, series two ran for six 30-minute episodes.
The Telegraph called the show "endlessly creative".
|Title||Original air date|
|1||1||"Focus on Cycling"||5 November 2010|
|2||2||"Who Does Alan Think Alan Is?"||12 November 2010|
|3||3||"Simply the Best of Norfolk"||19 November 2010|
|4||4||"Wine"||26 November 2010|
|5||5||"Alan's Sad Story"||3 December 2010|
|6||6||"King and Car"||10 December 2010|
|7||7||"Partridge on Partridge"||4 February 2011|
|8||8||"North Norfolk Today with Eddie Shepherd and Terri Cohen"||11 February 2011|
|9||9||"Tora Bora Alan"||18 February 2011|
|10||10||"Alan Partridge: Out of the Box Thinker"||25 February 2011|
|11||11||"Agony Alan"||4 March 2011|
|12||12||"The Man with the Child in His Eyes"||11 March 2011|
|Title||Original air date|
|13||1||"Foxhunter + Radio Play"||16 February 2016|
|14||2||"Book Club + Dave Clifton"||23 February 2016|
|15||3||"Blackbird + Gangster"||1 March 2016|
|16||4||"Jasper + Chef"||8 March 2016|
|17||5||"Massage + Royal Visit"||15 March 2016|
|18||6||"Grundy + Snow"||22 March 2016|
The first series of Mid Morning Matters was released on DVD first, in Australia on 1 March 2012 by 2entertain. It was released on 12 November 2012 in the UK, also by 2entertain. The second series was released on DVD in April 2016.
- Wolf, Ian (10 November 2011). "Alan Partridge web series to get TV debut on Sky". British Comedy Guide.
- "Alan Partridge to return to Sky Atlantic for second Mid Morning Matters series". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
- "Alan Partridge's Mid Morning Matters". Sky. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
- "In pictures: Alan Partridge makes internet comeback". BBC Norfolk. 31 August 2010.
- "Brand New Alan Partridge exclusive to Foster's". Foster's Funny. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
- "Mid Morning Matters series 2 in development". The Complete Alan Partridge. 4 October 2011. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012.
- "Alan Partridge to return with second Mid Morning Matters". British Comedy Guide. 4 October 2011.
- Robinson, James (5 September 2011). "Steve Coogan: Why I won't let News Corp off the hook". The Guardian. London.
- Hogan, Michael (16 February 2016). "Alan Partridge's Mid-Morning Matters Is Endlessly Creative – Review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
- "Alan Partridge's Mid Morning Matters Series 1". ABC Shop. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Alan Partridge - Mid-Morning Matters". Amazon. Retrieved 18 April 2013.