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From Wings to Kate Bush: Alan Partridge's 15 favourite pop songs


“Wings, the band The Beatles could have been” — Alan Patridge

If anyone knows music it’s the comic creation of Steve Coogan and acclaimed Norwich-based DJ, Alan Patridge. Returning to our screens this evening as part of his new show This Time with Alan Partridge, Coogan’s classic creation is once again in the headlines so we thought there was no better time than now to pul together a list of the perenially awkward personality’s favourite pop songs of all time.

Collated both from an interview Partridge gave to The Guardian ahead of the feature film release Alpha Papa and from moments within his titular show I’m Alan Patridge which ran in 1997, returning in 2002 for a second series. It not only provides a fascinating insight into the make-up of the inept broadcaster but also some cracking pop songs to boot. When you compile all of those brilliant tunes into one playlist you have some serious pop power.

First up is Andrew Gold’s ‘Never Let Her Slip Away’ about which Partridge told The Guardian: “A classic marching tune, albeit one with a jauntier gait than ‘Stop The Cavalry’ by Jona Lewie, the pre-eminent song in the genre.” He was equally effusive about another pick on the list, the brilliant ‘Don’t You Want Me’ from Human League, saying: “The bit when Susan Ann Tulley mutters ‘that much is true’ in response to Phil’s first verse reminds me of how my wife Carol used to undermine my anecdotes at parties. Still, decent beat.”

“It’s a song that reminds me of a date when you’re over 50,” recalls Partridge when speaking about Hot Chocolate’s hit ‘It Started With A Kiss’, continuing, “It starts with a kiss but usually ends with a hot chocolate.” Another song that seemingly touches his heart, noted in both the interview with The Guardian and I’m Alan Partridge is Kate Bush’s mammoth hit ‘Wuthering Heights’. The broadcaster clearly has a soft spot for the singer: “Kate feels every word she sings, never more than in this song. There are times towards the end when you can actually hear the woman withering.”

Moving toward the latter half of the list and there are some heavyweight pop hits including Paul McCartney and Wings song ‘Jet’. Partridge notes his encompassing passion for the track: “It says much about the enduring appeal of jet engine technology that Paul felt inspired to write this song some 43 years after they were invented. I’m a big fan of both jets and ‘Jet'”.

One song that should never be left off a list of Partridge’s favourites is The Police song ‘Roxanne’, with the DJ once saying of the track: “A song there about a prostitute. Doesn’t give her surname… Must give her a call – though the effects of 23 years on the game would not render her pleasurable to mine eye.”

Simply put, if you’re looking for a searing collection of pop’s finest from the mind of Norwich’s own maestro, then look no further than the playlist below.

Alan Partridge’s favourite songs:

  • ‘Never Let Her Slip Away’ – Andrew Gold
  • ‘Nobody Does It Better’ – Carly Simon
  • ‘Don’t You Want Me’ – The Human League
  • ‘Galloping Home’ – Denis King and the South Bank Orchestra
  • ‘It Started With A Kiss’ – Hot Chocolate
  • ‘Wuthering Heights’ – Kate Bush
  • ‘The Model’ – Kraftwerk
  • ‘Goldfinger’ – Shirley Bssey
  • ‘Gaudete – Steeleye Span
  • ‘Jet’ – Wings
  • ‘Killer Queen’ – Queen
  • ‘Thunder & Lightning’ – Thin Lizzy
  • ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ – Blue Oyster Cult
  • ‘Music for Chameleons’ – Gary Numan
  • ‘Roxanne’ – The Police