Partridge dedicates film to Norwich
Published 24/07/2013 | 13:27
Alan Partridge has told fans "this film is my love letter to Norwich" as he premiered his new movie in his favourite city.
The Steve Coogan comedy creation opted to hold the red carpet event in Norfolk following a Twitter campaign dubbed Anglia Square Not Leicester Square.
Speaking outside the Hollywood Cinema ahead of the Alpha Papa showing, the fictional DJ said he was proud of Norwich but his love for the city was not in "an Operation Yewtree way".
As he appeared in character in the city's unloved 1960s Anglia Square shopping precinct, he added: "The people have spoken in the biggest petition since the clinic started handing out johnnies to 13-year-olds.
"£4 million has gone on this film which could have gone to a brand new anti-natal unit or Help For Heroes but we spent it on this film."
Partridge added that he had chosen Norwich because he trusted Norfolk Police to protect him from a sniper while on the red carpet. The much-loved character - who once said "Go to London, I guarantee you'll either be mugged or not appreciated" - will later fly by helicopter to the capital's Leicester Square for a second showing.
Before the premiere, 1980s songs including hits by Abba were played over the Tannoy - or "generic speaker system" as Partridge would insist on calling it.
Partridge once famously took a date to an owl sanctuary in Norfolk and Rob Wilkes and Rafiq Turnbull, who organised the social media campaign, sold T-shirts outside the cinema to raise funds for the Wing And A Prayer Wild Bird And Owl Haven in Stratton Strawless.
Before the premiere, Partridge, who was wearing a sky-blue suit by tailor Gresham Blake, spoke to the press. Asked what Norwich had that London did not, he said: "A lot of flat landscape, the Wash, reclaimed land - these are things that London doesn't have and will never have.
"My favourite location during filming was Cromer Pier. I've been to Blackpool Pier, Brighton Pier, Southend Pier - but Cromer is quite simply the best pier."
More than 1,000 people turned up to watch him arrive. Alpha Papa director Declan Lowney said: "I don't think you get this sort of warmth in Leicester Square - there's a lot of love for Alan. He is a positive voice for Norfolk and I think people here get it.
"The film offers a lot of fun, a lot of danger and some heavy kissing."