Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Interview

RELATED INTERVIEWS
Steve Coogan Talks Alan Partridge
Everything you want to know about the king of chat
Empire Unsung Hero Of The Year: Tim Key
Sidekick Of The Year
Empire Unsung Hero Of The Year: Martin Coogan
Jingler Of The Year
More Interviews

RELATED REVIEWS
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Bill Oddie Talks Alan Partridge
The bird-enthusiast on his fictional friend

submit to reddit

"Had a long chat with Bill Oddie. An experienced birder, he's lent me his binoculars and given me some great advice on how to remain still for long periods of time..."

This quote, a passage from Partridge autobiography We Need To Talk About Alan, is just one of many, many references the character makes to the former Goodie. We rang Oddie up to ask how he feels about being part of the Partridgeverse.

Bill Oddie Talks Alan Partridge

So are you a fan of Alan, or does it piss you off?
People keep saying to me, "Alan Partridge always mentions you. Aren't you upset? Aren't you offended?" I say, "No, why would I be?" I was curious about it and still am: why would he choose me? One rumour I heard is that someone on the writing team is a birdwatcher, and knew me from that reputation in the past. But am I offended? No, I'm offended when I'm not in it! My agent got an inquiry at one stage to see whether I was free to actually make an appearance on one of the TV series. And unfortunately I couldn't because I was in India or somewhere. It was a very good excuse, or I'd happily have done it.

Have you ever actually met Steve Coogan?
The closest I've come to meeting Steve Coogan is being in the audience at one of his live shows. I had to pay for my own ticket, the mean bastard!
No, the closest I've come is being in the audience at one of his live shows. I had to pay for my own ticket, the mean bastard! You'd think he might have sent me a few, if only to keep quiet and not slag him off. I get plenty of opportunities, believe me. But I have sent him a few letters, addressed to Alan Partridge, saying, "Will you please stop claiming to be a friend of mine? Just because you're named after a bird, it doesn't mean I have the slightest attraction to you."

At one point in I'm Alan Partridge, Alan takes a lady on a date to an owl sanctuary. Have you ever done that?
I certainly have! They weren't necessarily owls, but I remember in my slightly sprightlier days more than one hapless young woman was carted off to a bird hide for several hours. Most of the time I was rewarded, much to my surprise.

Do you have a favourite Alan / Oddie moment?
When Alan first started mentioning my name, the first thing that made me laugh was the receptionist. She and her mate started giggling because she couldn't bring herself to say B. Oddie — it rhymed with body and that was rude. I was giggling right away with that; I thought it was a wonderful little thing. And the actress, Sally Phillips, is great at doing stuff like that. She's so subtle.

You were referenced over ten times in last year's Alan Partridge book. Have you read it?
I have. The first thing I did was flick to the index to see how many times I was mentioned. I actually thought I was grossly underfeatured. There could have been a full chapter. But never mind - hopefully he'll put that right in the next one.

As a former comedy star yourself, how do you rate Steve Coogan in the pantheon?
Oh, he's brilliant. Alan Partridge is one of the great comedy characters of all time. The pain of him trying to pitch all these crap ideas - which, let's face it, we've all done at some point - it's in the Spinal Tap bracket to me. Steve is obviously very fond of resilient losers, who have a modicum of talent but keep working away. He's the Peter Sellers of his day, and I hope he comes to a happier end.


Interview by Nick de Semlyen

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Video Interviews: The Stars And Directors Talk As Above, So Below
We talked to Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman and company about their underground horror…

The Future Of Film: All Big Blockbusters Will Be Shot At 48 FPS
Our month-long series begins discussing the innovations that will shape cinema

Video Interviews: Chloe Grace Moretz And Jamie Blackley Talk If I Stay
The stars, director R.J. Cutler and co-star Joshua Leonard talk YA adaptations

Gillian Robespierre And Jenny Slate Talk Obvious Child
Director and star on their acclaimed rom-com

The Empire Podcast #126: Jon Hamm Talks Million Dollar Arm, Mad Men And Beards
Plus Richard Ayoade pops in to talk about directing The Double

15 Of The Weirdest TV Cameos Of All Time
From Michael Palin in Home And Away to Ian McKellen in Corrie

Updated: The 36 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)