A-HA! The short-running but long-remembered BBC2 comedy just popped into my head just now, because I’m reminded of the “newspaper story” every time I watch a chat show.
Almost unwatchably painful, Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge extracts the same cringing, knuckle-gnawing laughs as Fawlty Towers. It ran for just six episodes and a Christmas special, after transferring over from a radio show. Its parody of chat shows was so accurate that a lot of people thought it was genuine and phoned in to complain. Steve Coogan was the smug, incompetent titular host, interviewing a slew of grating guests, with normally disastrous results. A spin-off sitcom, I’m Alan Partridge, ran for two seasons.