Alan Partridge spams 20,000 BBC colleagues

Chatshow host, returning to present ‘This Time’, gives out his BBC email address

The official trailer for This Time with Alan Partridge, starring Steve Cooogan. Video: BBC


Alan Partridge returns to the BBC tonight after more than two decades away – and he has emailed his 20,000 colleagues at the broadcaster to tell them to tune in to watch him on BBC One at 9.30pm.

Under the subject line “Clearing the air”, the Steve Coogan character writes: “Yes, some 24 years after my last presenting gig, the BBC have sidled up to me with a short-term offer to co-present your much-loved magazine show, This Time, standing in for John Baskell who’s been taken ill,” the message begins. “My response? Well, although my diary is as clogged as John’s arteries (get well, John!) I have agreed to drop everything and step up.

“Now, some of you aren’t going to like that. Some of you made clear when I left that I wouldn’t be welcome back. A woman who worked in compliance called Karen or Kate or Kath who had long wavy hair and apparently still works here sneered so hard I thought her face would turn inside out.

“But back I am, as evidenced by this, my own official BBC email address. And with it, I reach out to you, my colleagues – not to gloat, or to settle old scores, or say, ‘Hey Karen/Kate/Kath, why don’t you kiss my arse – but to be the bigger man and clear the air of any residual stench.”

“No, it’s time for a clean slate and no hard feelings. Because I love the BBC and I always have. While others might say it’s a smug anachronism full of braying, know-nothing chancers doling out fat commissions to their braying, know-nothing Oxbridge mates, I don’t. I think the BBC is great and watch its programmes avidly, regardless of their quality.

“All I ask is that you return the favour. All of you. From on-screen talent right the way down to off-screen staff. I ask every one of this email’s 20,000+ recipients to tune in tonight on BBC One. Even if nobody else in the country does, we’re already hitting the kind of numbers my shows were getting on Sky Atlantic. Spread the word to a few more and my viewing figures will show the upward trajectory management is bound to want a piece of.

“So once again, please, please please, please tune in. Please tune in.”

Anyone who responds to his email, at, gets this reply: “I’m not in the office so both cannot and will not respond to your email. If your email is urgent, perhaps you should have tried calling instead. The very fact you were content to type out your query long hand and settle back to wait for a reply suggests it can wait, even if you’ve put a red exclamation next to your email to make it stand out in my inbox. Won’t wash with me, that.”