Partridge ruffles feathers

Norfolk's fury over Coogan's jibes

Norfolk's civic leaders have blasted Steve Coogan for making their county a laughing stock.

They are furious that his show I'm Alan Partridge portrays their region as "a backwater populated by yokels".

He has already been blamed for losing Norwich its bid to become European City Of Culture, and now councillor Charles Joyce has tabled a motion at the county council attacking Coogan.

The Labour politician wants Coogan to visit the county to see its "positive" aspects, suggesting the comic make an outing to the Nar/Ouse regeneration area.

Mr Joyce said: "I'm Alan Partridge portrays the people and county of Norfolk in a less than flattering light.

"At a time when Norfolk is striving to attract new business and jobs, it is not helpful for the county to be portrayed as a backwater populated by yokels.

"A substantial part of the show appears to be mickey-taking about the provincial and rural nature of life in Norwich and Norfolk. On Monday the business people of the county were portrayed as degenerates.

" At the mere mention of local communities in Norfolk such as Spixworth, Heacham or Terrington St Clement there are gales of laughter from the studio audience."

However, Joyce appears to confuse Coogan with his fictional creation, as he continued: "I really feel there is a case for Mr Partridge and his team to give something back to the county he has basically ridiculed and done very well out of, thank you.

"Perhaps if Alan came up here for real, he would see the innovative projects being supported by the county council and meet some of the high-powered people who live in the area."

His motion is to be debated by the council on December 16, the Eastern Daily Pree reports.

Published: 29 Nov 2002

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