Books

New Partridge Book Is On The Way

Just two short sentences are all it should take for the legions of Alan Partridge fans to get very excited indeed.

Partridge writer Neil Gibbons has revealed, via a tweet, that he is working on a follow-up to I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan, the acclaimed autobiography of Norwich's most famous broadcaster - and it will be released next year.

Published in 2011, the book was a huge triumph - with The Telegraph declaring that it had "one of the top five indexes of all time". It was a commercial success, while possibly even more loved was the truly epic near-seven hour long audiobook which, naturally, had Steve Coogan reading the entire thing in character. Needless to say, the reader had the last laugh.

Publishers Orion have confirmed the news, saying that the second volume has been written "with help" from Steve Coogan, Rob Gibbons and Neil Gibbons and is described as "a collection of essays, diary entries, open letters, think pieces, programme and business ideas".

They go on to say that the book, "will shed light on the private thoughts of the veteran broadcaster as he tackles issues as diverse as climate change, being good at driving, his 15-year legal wrangle with the owner of Allan Partridge Plastics Ltd., and the events that led to the collapse of his friendship with former rock-climbing partner Eamonn Holmes."

The man himself has said, "What does it take to be a professional book writer? Firstly, a good idea. Easy, got loads of them. Secondly, a writing style that's visceral yet populist. I'd put myself somewhere between Gore Vidal and a children's author. Thirdly, a good vocabulary. I used the word visceral just now. And fourthly, time. You have to be able to sit down and write the damn thing! Fortuitously, a liquidated business venture means I now have an eight-week block of spare time at the back end of 2015. I plan to devote around five of those to writing this book. On my first meeting with Orion Publishing (there have been nine), I was blown away by their well-appointed offices, firm handshakes and a selection of biscuits that was high-end without being showy. Straight away, I knew these were people I could work with. I'm confident that this book can be a publishing phenomenon. It's no Fifty Shades of Grey, but I can assure it ain't a million miles away. After all, it will 'quicken the pulse', get you 'hot under the collar' and make you want to 'hit someone'."

Currently untitled, it is due to be published in October 2016.

Since his first book, Partridge has gone on to further fame as the star of the film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - a sequel is in the works - while Gibbons has also confirmed that the new series of Mid Morning Matters is "finished and ready to go", although he has "no idea when Sky plan to broadcast".

If that weren't enough, ShortList readers recently voted Steve Coogan - either in or out of character - as the man they'd like to see replace Jeremy Clarkson as host of Top Gear.

2016 looks to be a very special year for Partridge fans: Jack-a-nack-a-nory.

(Image: Rex)