With an Alan Partridge film in the works, the character has come a long way from presenting the sports on Radio 4's On The Hour. It seems that with this, In The Loop and the output of Sasha Baron Cohen (Reader's voice: "But those films are years apart!"), it seems like the concept of British comedy spin-off movies is back. After grinding to a halt after mid-80s movies like Morons From Outer Space, Whoops Apocalypse, Bloodbath At The House of Death and The Boys in Blue all proved to be commercial flops, the concept went into near hibernation for a couple of decades, twitching a leg occasionally to let out celluloid farts such as Guest House Paradiso. We can't help but feel that's a bit of a shame, as it deprived cinemagoers of the following potential comedy offshoots we've just thought up. (Reader's voice: "Hang on, what about Stella Street, Kevin & Perry Go Large, The League of Gentleman Apocalypse...")
1) Tony & Control in Never Say Never Again, Please
Unerringly polite undercover capers as British spy Tony Murchison (Hugh Laurie) is captured while deep behind enemy lines after asking for a cup of tea in a Stalingrad vodka bar. The head of the British Secret Service, known only as "Control" (Stephen Fry) must return to active duty to rescue his colleague.
2) The ‘Bridge That Roared
Due to an internal misunderstanding at a town council meeting, Stoneybridge comes to be recognised as an independent sovereign state and tax haven. Hi-jinks ensue as the council members clamour for power. Guest starring Nick Hancock as the British Consulate.
3) One Hundred And Fifteen Storeys High
Vince Clark (Sean Lock) has received some interesting news - his eccentric New Yorker uncle Vance has died, leaving him ten million dollars, on one condition: Vince and slow-witted flatmate Errol Spears (Benedict Wong) must relocate to a lavish hi-rise apartment in Manhattan that - chuckle! - is home to an even wider range of zany characters than they were used to back in England! Guest starring Henry Winkler as the late Uncle Vance Clark.
4) Yes, Mr President
PM Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington) travels to Washington to try and prevent a war in the South Atlantic, only for Sir Humphrey Appleby (Nigel Hawthorne) to have other ideas. Pretty much the same as In The Loop, only without the swearing and weak Coogan-based subplot. Guest starring Gore Vidal as himself.
5) Monsieur Aubergine's Holiday
Alexei Sayle's sped-up physical comedian takes a continental vacation. If you want to see how it would have turned out, just watch Mr Bean's Holiday at four times the normal speed while listening to a compilation of laugh tracks from old Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
6) Pope Show
Mark (David Mitchell) has received some interesting news - his eccentric Italian uncle Marco has died, leaving him fifteen million euros, on one condition: Mark and Jeremy (Robert Webb) must relocate to the Vatican. Guest starring A Respected Italian Actor Who Foolishly Accepts The Role Thinking It Will Help His Career In English Speaking Countries, (or French actor Vincent Cassel if the producers can make him forget he did Guest House Paradiso).
7) Baddiel & Skinner Unplanned: The Movie
A Borat-style pseudo-documentary, this sees Dave (David Baddiel) and Frank (Frank Skinner) on a road trip around Europe, pursued by a coachload of British tourists asking Frank lots of questions about wanking, with Dave getting the occasional enquiry about being Jewish. Shot purely adhering to the rules of the Dogme 95 movement, all footage is that captured on VHS camcorder by the members of the public aboard the coach.
8) KYTV in Cincinnati
Anna Daptor (Helen Atkinson-Wood), Martin Brown (Michael Fenton Stevens), Mike Flex (Geoffrey Perkins) and Mike Channel (Angus Deayton) all decamp to the USA after media baron Sir Kenneth Yellowhammer (Angus Deayton in a false moustache) buys out a small cable network on the other side of the pond, sacks all the staff, and forces the talent from his UK operation to simulcast to both continents. Guest starring Jimmy Smits as embittered former weatherman Dwight "Whitey" White.
9) Sunnyside Ranch
Phil Daniels' Character In Sunnyside Farm (Phil Daniels) has received some interesting news - his eccentric Texan uncle has died, leaving him twenty million dollars, on one condition: Phil Daniels' Character In Sunnyside Farm and The One From The Full Monty Who Got To Star In The Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas And Then Ended Up Doing Those Supermarket Commercials With Fay Ripley (Mark Addy) must relocate to his sprawling 50,000 acre cattle ranch in Texas. Guest starring Rob Schneider as Sheriff Shitkicker McGee.
10) Married For Life... With Children
Contractually obligated sitcom mash-up where the Bundys and, from the ill-judged 1996 ITV remake, the Butlers find themselves having to cohabit the same log cabin in the Boondocks. Interestingly, each scene in the film that features Ed O'Neill, Katie Segal or Christina Applegate is actually a craftily re-edited shot from the original series, as the actors were all too busy to take any part in the film. David Faustino was, however, available. Lucky scheduling, we guess.