Developing

Back Of The Net: Alan Partridge Returns To TV

Alan Partridge is to make a long-awaited return to TV after Steve Coogan signed a deal to move the character to Sky from the BBC.

The comedian will appear as the Norfolk radio DJ in two new one-hour specials on Sky Atlantic, which will also show revamped versions of his online series Mid Morning Matters.

Partridge previously appeared in a number of BBC shows, beginning life on radio and moving to the screen for series such as Knowing Me Knowing You. His last TV show was created in 2003.

The deal with Coogan's Baby Cow Productions includes the one-hour special Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life, in which he looks at the formative locations of East Anglia.

In another programme, Alan Partridge On Open Books With Martin Bryce, the local radio DJ is interviewed in front of a book club.

Sky Atlantic will also screen a new animation narrated by Coogan, Uncle Wormsley's Christmas, and a two-part series, Steve Coogan's Stand Up Down Under - a behind-the-scenes look at his Australian live tour.

Coogan said: "Alan has been off the TV for too long but he is even more excited than me about his chance to have a second bite of the cherry.

"Alan feels the second decade of the millennium is the right time."

Lucy Lumsden, head of comedy for Sky, said: "Sky Atlantic is providing our best writer-performers the space to feel creatively free.

"Who better to kick off our new season of comedies than the phenomenally talented Steve Coogan?"