The British have many curious TV traditions.

They never miss the Queen's Speech on Christmas Day. They are crazy for Big Brother. And they adore characters who embarrass themselves with painfully misguided displays of hubris.

We're talking about blokes like Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers, The Office's David Brent and Ali G of Da Ali G Show. And Alan Partridge, a cocky talk-show host, played by comic actor Steve Coogan, who thinks he's much cleverer than his guests — and never fails to let them know it.

BBC America is currently airing The Alan Partridge Experience, which packages the two series tracking the rise, fall and attempted resurrection of his career.

Knowing Me, Knowing You (1994) is a faux BBC talk show in which Partridge routinely humiliates his guests and gets fired after accidentally shooting one. He resurfaces in I'm Alan Partridge (1997) as a local radio-show host on the graveyard shift, convinced his glory days aren't over yet.

Indeed, Partridge is a loathsome chap; he's also a great reason to finally look forward to Saturday-night TV again.


The Alan Partridge Experience airs Saturdays, 11 pm/ET, on BBC America.