Alan Partridge emails BBC staff ahead of his triumphant return to our screens 5 months ago

Alan Partridge emails BBC staff ahead of his triumphant return to our screens

Over 20,000 employees got the message.

Alan Partridge is back on British television on Monday evening and it's clear he'll be on top form after emailing every BBC employee and taking a shot at both the corporation and rivals Sky Atlantic in the process.

Ahead of his return, Partridge sent a cheeky email to implore his thousands of colleagues across the Beeb to tune in and enjoy the show.

Find that witty missive in full below.

"Yes, some 24 years after my last presenting gig, the BBC have sidled up to me with a short-term offer to co-present your much-loved magazine show This Time, standing in for John Baskell who’s been taken ill," he writes.

"My response? Well, although my diary is as clogged as John’s arteries (get well, John!) I have agreed to drop everything and step up.

"Now, some of you aren’t going to like that. Some of you made clear when I left that I wouldn’t be welcome back; a woman who worked in compliance called Karen or Kate or Kath who had long wavy hair and apparently still works here sneered so hard I thought her face would turn inside out.

"But back I am, as evidenced by this, my own official BBC email address. And with it I reach out to you, my colleagues – not to gloat, or settle old scores, or say, 'Hey Karen/Kate/Kath, why don’t you kiss my arse' – but to be the bigger man and clear the air of any residual stench.

"No, it’s time for a clean slate and no hard feelings. Because I love the BBC and I always have. While others might say it’s a smug anachronism full of braying, know-nothing chancers doing out fat commissions to their braying, know-nothing Oxbridge mates, I don’t.

"I think the BBC is great and watch its programmes avidly, regardless of their quality. All I ask is that you return the favour. All of you. From on-screen talent right the way down to off-screen staff.

"I ask every one of the email’s 20,000+ recipients to tune in tonight at 9.30pm on BBC One. Even if nobody in the country does, we’re hitting the kind of numbers my shows were getting on Sky Atlantic.

"Spread the word to a few more and my viewing figures will show the upward trajectory management is bound to want a piece of. So once again, please, please, please, please tune in. Please tune in. Your colleague (and I am your colleague)."

A number of wisecracking BBC staff replied to Partridge's official email address and got this reply:

"I’m not in the office so both cannot and will not respond to your email.

"If your email is urgent, perhaps you should have tried calling instead.

"The very fact you were content to type out your query longhand and settle back to wait for a reply suggests it can wait, even if you’ve put a read exclamation next to your email to make it stand out in my inbox. Won’t wash with me, that."

On BBC One on Monday at 9:30pm, This Time With Alan Partridge features Steve Coogan's iconic character co-hosting a One Show-esque chat show alongside Jennie Gresham, played by Susannah Fielding.