Norfolk

Alan Partridge Alpha Papa: Norwich hosts world premiere

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge at Anglia Square, Norfolk for Alpha Papa premiere
Image caption Steve Coogan appeared in character as Alan Partridge at the Norwich premiere of Alpha Papa

Fictional DJ Alan Partridge said he wanted to put Norwich "on the map" by holding the world premiere for his new film Alpha Papa in the city.

Comedian Steve Coogan appeared in character before hundreds of fans at the red carpet event in Anglia Square.

The DJ told fans: "This film is my love letter to Norwich."

The move to hold the Norfolk premiere followed a Twitter campaign dubbed "Anglia Square Not Leicester Square", calling to host it in the city.

Producers Studiocanal announced the event on Twitter, with a statement from Partridge reading: "You can imagine how hurt and litigious I felt when people said I was planning to debut my movie in London instead of Norwich, or that I'd allowed my head to be turned by the prospect of big city fame.

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Media captionAlan Partridge was greeted by hundreds of fans in Anglia Square, Norwich

"Any suggestions I've hastily cobbled together the lunchtime Norwich screening in response to a local Twitter campaign will be met with the full force of the law."

Alan Partridge began life as a spoof sports reporter on BBC Radio 4's On The Hour before moving to TV, becoming a chat show host and radio DJ.

'Hilarious' events

Born in King's Lynn, Steve Coogan's comedy character grew up in Norwich.

The film was shot at locations across Norfolk including Cromer, Sheringham and various parts of the historic city.

Producers said Alpha Papa centred around a "hilarious chain of events which see Alan having to work with the police to defuse a potentially violent siege" after a new media conglomerate takes over his radio station, North Norfolk Digital.

Image caption Alan Partridge took the Radio Norwich OB van to the Leicester Square screening

As Mr Coogan appeared in character in the city's unloved 1960s Anglia Square shopping precinct, he added the "people have spoken".

"£4m has gone on this film, which could have gone to a brand new antenatal unit or Help for Heroes, but we spent it on this film."

Mr Partridge said he had chosen Norwich because he trusted Norfolk Police to protect him from a sniper while on the red carpet.

The Norfolk hero - who once said: "Go to London, I guarantee you'll either be mugged or not appreciated" - was flown from Norwich by helicopter to the capital's Leicester Square for a second showing of the film where he was joined by other members of the cast.

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