Written by Janet Hedges
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Topics: BBC, Alan Partridge

Saturday, 18 November 2006

image for Al Jazeera poach BBC's Partridge
No longer will Alan's 'Ah Ha' resonate around these walls

Al Jazeera International, the new 24-hour English-language comedy and current affairs channel, has appointed Alan Partridge as news anchor at its Qatar headquarters.

Partridge joins Al Jazeera International from Radio Norwich where he was host of the popular Up With the Partridge show. His easy on screen persona and wealth of experience in live TV are said to have secured him the job.

Steven Shark, Al Jazerra International's director of news, said: "I am pleased to have Alan on board. He brings a wealth of experience to the channel and is a great addition to the team".

Partridge added: "I'm thrilled to be joining this Arab satellite station and to be part of this exciting foreign television project. I'm hoping that Sue Cook and Bill Oddie will also be joining this channel next year."

Partridge shot to fame as the face of sport on the BBC news programme The Day Today, he also hosted a long running chat show on BBC 2.

Al Jazeera promised to broadcast images from 9/11 and the war in Iraq "at least 100 times a day". The channel is also planning to revive comedy classics George and Mildred, Bless This House and Terry and June for its Christmas schedules.

A host of big names, from Bernard Cribbins to former-BBC and ITV stalwarts Sandy Gall and Richard Whiteley have been poached from rival broadcasters.

Former gameshow host David Frost has also joined the station, after leaving his popular teatime quiz Through The Keyhole. The sycophantic 'journalist' interviewed Diana Doors in 1978.

Al Jazeera launched its English-language news and current affairs service on November 15 and features 12 hours of rolling news, sitcoms, pictures of starving Africans and bombings in Gaza.

Last month, Al Jazeera International poached EX-ITN presenters Reginald Bosanquet and Alistair Burnett.

Bosanquet, who has presented across all of the ITN's main news bulletins, will be in charge of the graveyard shift.

Sources close to BBC TV have said that the Canadian Lyse Doucet may join the Arab station in 2007, if they can promise her "at least 8 hours of screen time everyday".

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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