“Back I am”: Alan Partridge has sent a brilliant email to his new BBC colleagues

"Back I am, as evidenced by this, my own official BBC email address."

Alan Partridge is finally returning to the BBC tonight – and he’s keen to let his newly acquired colleagues know.

BBC Employees arrived at their desks this morning to discover that they’d been emailed by Steve Coogan’s most favourite creation, ahead of new series This Time debuting tonight.

Unsurprisingly, the whole message is as quintessentially Partridge as a Terry’s Chocolate Orange with superficial damage to the box.

“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,” writes Alan.

“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.”

He continued: “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 doling out fat commissions to their braying, know-nothing Oxbridge mates, I don’t.”

Praising the corporation, he writes: “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 this email’s 20,000+ recipients to tune in tonight at 9.30pm on BBC One. Even if nobody else in the country does, we’re already 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.”

As the below shows, it gets even better when Alan’s colleagues attempt to deliver a response to him.

This Time With Alan Partridge will debut on BBC One at 9.30PM tonight.