When I was very young I have a vague recollection of watching an episode of Knowing Me, Knowing You on BBC2 and having no idea what was going on. Was this man for real? Surely this can’t be a real chat show with actual celebrities I hadn’t even heard of. From that moment on I had an idea of the name Alan Partridge but I just dismissed him as some kind of ‘adult’ humour I didn’t really understand. Years later at university my best friend properly introduced me to Alan and since then I have become a huge fan, in fact boyf and I regularly rewatch all Alan Partridge series on Netflix (alongside The Office and Derek) when we can’t decide on what else to watch and we need to make a decision sometime this century. He is just ridiculous, but I think that is part of his everlasting appeal in my eyes…that and the fact his shows have some of the easiest to remember quotes that boyf and I can apply to most situations. Maybe the only reason we are still together is our mutual appreciation of Alan; I bought him three Alan based gifts for Christmas and he bought me two. It is safe to say, it’s a slight obsession. One of those presents was Nomad.
Nomad is Alan Partridge’s journey in his father’s footsteps, walking 160miles along the South East of England from Norwich to Dungeness. As a former BBC TV presenter he makes it very clear on multiple occasions throughout the book that this is truly an homage to his father, it is not because he would like a walking based TV programme similar to the ones presented by Clare Balding, Michael Portillo and Julia Bradbury. The fact he journeys 120 miles out of his way to accoost the aforementioned presenters’ agent to ask for the umpteenth time if he can get a TV commission should not make his walk seem like a desperate attempt to get back on the telly. His attention grabbing antics when gatecrashing a live TV interview should not been seen as another failed attempt to get on the telly. He is doing this walk in memory of his father who also once made the same journey – albeit by car – as Alan keeps reminding the readers.
You definitely have to be a fan of Alan’s to truly appreciate this book. Throughout there are comments about his life that link back to his TV shows, his autobiography I, Partridge and his film Alpha Papa, although Alan obviously doesn’t acknowledge that these are books, films etc. It is is complete and utter lack of self awareness that makes me love him and this is apparent throughout the book; he is just a desperate hasbeen who is determined to make some kind of mighty comeback and it is that delusion that makes the book so entertaining. It is a huge piss take on ‘celebrities’ and the desperation of fame and I think if you approach it with that in mind – which I am sure any fan of Alan’s would do – then it is an entertaining, light hearted read.