Knowing Me Knowing You/Knowing Me Knowing Yule With Alan Partridge

Starring: Steve Coogan, Patrick Marber, Rebecca Front, Doon MacKichan and David Schneider
BBC Worldwide
RRP 19.99
Certificate: 15
Available now

Alan Partridge knows how to put the chat among the pigeons. Among the celebrity pigeons he "plucks" or talks to on this DVD are Keith Hunt, the new presenter on This Is Your Life, French Chief Michael Lambert, the finalists of Miss Norwich and Hot Pants, the sexist dance act in Northern Europe. This release includes all the episodes from Knowing Me, Knowing You With Alan Partridge, plus the Christmas Special Knowing Me Knowing Yule...

It's been a while coming but the king of chat's first TV series finally makes its way onto DVD. Partridge fans who already own this collection on video will already know that the episodes differ slightly from the broadcast material - with most episodes on this collection having additional material.

Extra scenes include a This is Your Life on location insert, a drink product placement - Sprunt and Alan meeting a French Alan Partridge. There are numerous other extended segments or altered dialogue (for example one guest mentions Jessica Tandy which was changed to Angela Lansbury when the series was broadcast as Jessica Tandy had recently died.

The episodes themselves are still as funny as they were when first broadcast and the "Bombshell" to the last episode is still as shocking as when I first saw it on TV. And the inclusion of Knowing Me Knowing Yule is an added bonus - this sees Partridge swapping the studio surrounding for a faithfully reproduced set of his living room as he humiliates his guests and himself in front of the nation.

The audio commentaries are also worth listening to - once they stop pretending to be the guests from each episode. There are some interesting facts unearthed. Like Armando Iannucci being asked to play the part of the child catcher in the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang West End musical. While the main commentaries are by Iannucci, Rebecca Front, Patrick Marber and Steve Brown, there are also guest appearances by Melanie Hudson, Doon Mackichan, David Schnider and Alan Ford.

Guest appearances in the shows include Minnie Driver, John Thompson and Kevin Eldon - all of whom have seen their careers blossom since appearing as spoof guests.

Extras on this two disc collection include the original Knowing Me Knowing You pilot. Comic Relief inserts, Alan's country ramble video and short TV ads for the series.

A classic series that is worth owning on DVD even if you have the episodes on video already.

Darren Rea


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