Or he was, until it all went wrong. Still, there's something comforting about watching this obnoxious buffoon slip into obscurity as the voice of the early morning slot on Radio Norwich, while trying to keep his sanity. And there's another thing that appeals about I'm Alan Partridge: it's damn funny too.
Alan shot to fame with incisive sports reporting on the informative news programme The Day Today. Little known fact: he coined the term "eat my goal" during his tenure there. Ultimately, the Beeb saw fit to give him his own show, Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge. While Richard and Judy were left to interview pregnant women suffering from PMT, Alan tackled heavyweight issues such as murder, teenage violence, the Euro tunnel and joy riding. It was here that he managed to single-handedly destroy race relations with France and shoot someone dead live on air. Which was a ruddy annoyance, Alan will tell you.
And so, I'm Alan Partridge finds him working the graveyard shift on local radio and living at a Travel Tavern, where he has to put up with the sniggers of the bored and sarky staff. But it isn't all bad – he does at least have his trusty photos of Roger Moore and Jet from Gladiators to keep his confidence up, as well as the unfailing help of trusty PA Lynn. Yes, occasionally things do go a bit wrong – like the time he chased a BBC executive around a restaurant waving a massive block of cheese in his famous. But that was only because the idiot didn't recognise the innovative genius of Alan's programme suggestions. You know, ones like Monkey Tennis, Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank and Arm Wrestling with Chas and Dave.
Things also don't quite go according to plan when Alan decides to dress up as a zombie, to amuse and delight the hotel staff. And even his pals can be more of a hindrance than a help, especially if they're massive mentalists with a massive Alan head tattooed on their body (we're looking at you, Jed).
It's not all doom, gloom and deranged fans, though. By series two of I'm Alan Partridge he's got his act together. Or sort of together, at any rate. He even has a girlfriend – the lovely Sonia. Yes, she's clearly partially mad and her anecdotes are as unfunny as they endless, but – kiss his face! – at least Alan's having as much textbook intercourse as he can handle. Plus he can drive Sonia to a random stately home and claim it belongs to his mate Bono, and she'll believe him. Well, until he brings in a truly terrible Bono impersonator, that is.
But even in these heady, happy days things can occasionally go painfully, bloodily wrong. As when Alan gets his foot impaled on a spike and then decides to go ahead with a speaking engagement, moaning in pain and eventually vomiting all over the place. Now that never happened to Parkinson. Alan also has a spot of bother with a childhood nemesis, as well as the marvellous Dan – who at first seems like Alan's perfect soulmate, but swiftly shocks our hero when it turns out that he and his wife are swingers. Or, as Alan would have it, "sex people". Oh, the things you have to put up with as one of Norwich's biggest names, eh Alan? Now if only the BBC would go and commission A Partridge Among the Pigeons, everything would be much better…