How do you chose between 12 episodes of televisual genius? I have gone for a slightly abstract approach to my selections: episodes that are the most quoted in our house or that we draw reference to most frequently in day to day life. A mission in itself giving the catalogue of one liners and anecdotes we have been blessed with, but here goes:
1 – A Room With An Alan – Series 1, Ep 1.
The first episode of the first series hit the ground running with the now eponymous lap dancing Alan and Tony Hayers sketch. My husband and I are regularly caught waving double Gloucester in each other’s faces shouting “smell my cheese you mother!”.
2 – I Know What Alan Did Last Summer – Series 2, Ep 5.
The introduction of Sonja in series two just topped off what was pretty damn near perfection. Her naivety coupled with that thick Ukrainian accent partner Alan’s perverse character so well. Since this episode I have never said “Bono” in an English accent. Or been party to a Bono-based conversation without saying “you know Bono?” in my best Ukrainian accent.
3 – To Kill A Mocking Alan – Series 1, Ep 5.
Graham Linehan’s expertly scripted pan-faced character Aiden witnesses one of my all time favourite scenes as Alan befriends Jed. The fan. “The mentalist”. An insult hurled around so much since 1997 it’s now part of my day to day vocabulary.
4 – Towering Alan, Series 1, Ep 6.
Alan’s over-the-counter tête-à-têtes with Ben and Sophie make these series’. And Alan and Ben’s musical cogitations have meant that no right minded Partridge fan can ever hear Wings mentioned without referring to them as “the band the Beatles could have been”.
5 – The Talented Mr Alan – Series 2, Ep 1.
Sonja’s debut, and like a peacock strutting around in front of a rather odious ex-school friend, Alan revels in the fact that he has a girlfriend. And she’s only 33. Cue standard euphoric retort for anything good that has happened since 2002. “Cashback!”.
Or “Jurassic Park”.
Now, Monkey tennis……?