Partridge 'as bad as terrorism'

Norfolk gets even angrier with Coogan

Spoofs like Alan Partridge can do 'as much damage as a terrorist bomb', a Norfolk academic has claimed.

While councillors in the region have censured Steve Coogan's hapless creation for denigrated their county, historian Victor Morgan has gone a step further.

Writing in the Eastern Daily Press, the University of East Anglia academic said: " Today we live in a populist culture that works best with simple stereotypes ­ whether those stereotypes be of people or of places.

"This type of thing can destroy individual lives or damage economies just as surely as can unfounded allegations on the internet or the terrorist's bomb."

However, Morgan, acting director of the university's Centre of East Anglian Studies, conceded that: "Partridge is funny. In fact, on occasion he is excruciatingly, toe-curlingly, funny."

But he claimed: "That is what makes him all the more dangerous.

"The problem is that nowadays once the image has been created, it becomes part of the lazy stock-in-trade of the superficial thinking in the press and beyond."

However, the people of Norfolk don't seem to mind Coogan's jibes - a poll o found that 90 per cent of the newspapers readers didn't think Partridge has done the county's image any harm.

Coogan calls time on Partridge

Published: 4 Dec 2002

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