Premiere of the Alan Partridge movie, Alpha Papa, in Anglia Square, Norwich, 24 July 2013
A lovely and good natured, not to mention sizable, crowd gathered outside the Hollywood Cinema in Norwich’s Anglia Square to catch a glimpse of the man himself, Alan Partridge, who was making an appearance in the city for his film premiere. This was all down to the humorous and inventive campaigning by a handful of local people who came up with the genius slogan “Anglia Square Not Leicester Square” as the rightful place for the premiere of this film, which was mostly filmed around Norwich and Norfolk earlier this year. T-shirts, posters and twitter campaigning snowballed and eventually it was announced that the world premiere would indeed be in the Hollywood cinema in Anglia Square, one of the most run-down and least attractive areas in the city, but somehow even that was celebrated today in Norwich’s glorious sense of humour, irony and self-deprecating wit. Take a bow Rob Wilkes and Rafiq Turnbull.
Most of the people waiting outside in the sunshine did not have a ticket but were entertained by other local djs playing a selection of Alan’s favourite tracks by the likes of Abba (of course), Gary Numan, Sparks, and a record I had banished from my memory banks “Japanese Boy”.
Many in the crowd had arrived in superb Alan attire and a few of these were lucky enough to be awarded free tickets.
At around 12:30pm it was announced that Alan was on his way in a high powered car, and soon after he did indeed arrive with his entourage. Stepping out and greeting the crowds in his sky blue safari suit he made a speech declaring his love of Norwich (“not in that way”) before answering some questions from the press and then addressing those lucky enough to be in the audience for the film itself.
Also unveiled today was a new addition to the GoGo Gorillas trail, one of Alan himself which he signed, along with posing for some photos and signing memorabilia for fans before being driven off to an awaiting helicoptor to take him to Leicester Square for the London premiere.
Other entertainment was provided by Bo Nanafana, Epic with a stage in the Square featuring The Rumours, Crumbs for Comfort and many others, local radio, and an Alan party at the Plasterers Arms
words and photos by richard shashamane 2013