Audible's From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast minor spoilers follow.
Steve Coogan and the team behind the new Alan Partridge podcast had a very important reason behind one of the series' biggest twists.
From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast – which is out exclusively on Audible today – is a hilarious 18-part series where Alan takes listeners along on a wild ride as he tries to track down an online troll.
Though some familiar characters are heavily featured (such as Alan's assistant Lynn), Steve Coogan's voice as Alan is almost exclusively the only one listeners hear throughout the podcast.
When Digital Spy recently spoke to Steve, he related the decision to tell the podcast entirely from Alan's perspective to one of his favourite writing conventions.
"I have this theory that if you're writing a funny phone call... I always think it's funnier to hear only one side of the phone call," he explained. "Sometimes you're watching a movie and you'll hear both sides... or sometimes you'll watch a movie and the convention they establish is you hear the person on the phone, you hear them talking, but you can't hear the other person.
"I'm a big fan of that because the minimalism of having one person on the phone means the audience has to make an educated guess on what's being said during the gaps. Part of the appeal of comedy is that the audience has to do a bit of the work."
Coogan and This Time co-writers, Rob and Neil Gibbons, particularly enjoyed "setting up these little jigsaw pieces" of Alan interacting with other characters for listeners to pick up on.
"They spot the missing jigsaw pieces, and that's what makes them laugh," he noted, adding: "You extrapolate that out into the podcast and Alan on his own, and also, you can't see him! The absence of something is also the presence of something."
From the Oasthouse listeners won't hear any references to the pandemic either in the podcast, but this is for pragmatic reasons.
"We recorded it before the pandemic, in fact," Steve explained. "There was a reference in some of the promotional material, but there's no references to the pandemic within the podcasts themselves."
But, as you'll understand if you listen to the podcast, Alan still has plenty of problems to contend with throughout the 18-part series.
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