It was so popular last year that we decided to do it again! Join us this holiday season as we introduce you to twelve of our favourite podcasts in the 12 Days of Podmas.
Running since 2016, Monkey Tennis is a podcast devoted to all things Alan Partridge. Presented by four ordinary guys (or ‘dalendless shids’ as they describe themselves) in their 30s, it started really small, as they looked an episode at a time at 1997’s first season of I’m Alan Partridge. Shows like this typically run to 20-40 episodes at most. It would have been fair to expect them to cover all of the character’s major TV output, perhaps one or two of the live shows, and be done somewhere in that timeframe, with perhaps a decent back catalogue of episodes with a small, loyal following.
Then – they got big. The Telegraph named Monkey Tennis amongst its pick of the best film and TV podcasts, and it started to draw the attention of key members of the APU (Alan Partridge Universe – believe us, they have the dense lore catalogued). So they have had guest appearances from Simon Greenhall (Geordie Michael), Tim Key and Susannah Fielding, and have gained enough confidence to go deep into the weeds, with several episodes providing a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the books, for example.
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At the time of the show’s inception, the character was looking as though it was winding down somewhat. Although there had been more activity since around 2011 than in the decade before, we were three years on from the film and five years on from the autobiography. Steve Coogan had made Philomena, and several series of The Trip, so the lifespan of this podcast seemed to be limited, mainly, to what had come before.
Since then, however, Partridge has got busy. There has been a second season of Mid-Morning Matters, another book, two seasons of From the Oasthouse, two seasons of This Time on the BBC, and the live show, Stratagem this year. Throw in the radio versions of Knowing Me, Knowing You, On the Hour and The Day Today, as well as comic relief appearances and other live tours, and we are left with a long-running podcast, at the time of writing up to 144 episodes, featuring a developed style, in-jokes, a thorough understanding of the character’s timeline, as well as sporting access to some of the people who made it all happen.
Monkey Tennis is available on various podcast platforms.