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Inside the Big Issue: A-HA! It's Alan Partridge

For our second bumper Christmas special, what could be more seasonal than a Partridge in a pear tree? Dive inside this week's mag.

For our second bumper Christmas special, what could be more seasonal than Alan Partridge in a pear tree?

Yes, this week Britain’s most beloved broadcaster (at least that’s how he’d see himself) is delivering a Letter to My Younger Self exclusively in The Big Issue, reflecting on a life which has brought him professional success, but on a personal level has been a bit of mixed bag.

Alan Partridge has been a welcome figure on our TVs and airwaves for over 30 years. Even when there have been tricky, sometimes Toblerone-flecked, years in the wilderness he has repeatedly bounced back.

“I wasn’t your typical teenager,” he told our interviewers. “Whether it was because my mum cut my hair or because I wasn’t allowed to sit in the front seat of the car until I was 15, I retained a wonderfully childlike quality long into adolescence. I’d spend weekends – not sniffing glue or kissing with tongues – but collecting conkers or drawing pictures of the Red Arrows or writing letters to the Red Arrows.”

To read the full interview, buy a copy of this week’s magazine. Find your local vendor here.

This is not the first time Partridge has appeared on the cover of the magazine. His co-creator Armando Iannucci guest edited an edition in 2017, and he brought together Partridge with another of his characters, The Thick of It’s Malcolm Tucker to have a great Brexit bout. You can revisit that historic piece on here

What else is in this week’s Big Issue?

Our refugee homelessness investigation continues

Refugees are being made homeless thanks to government policy changes. Our reporter Greg Barradale spoke to Adam, one of those caught up in the crisis.

“Mentally and physically I am really tired,” he says. “I’m asking myself, why am I here? Would it have been better to stay in Yemen and die there? And save trouble for myself and others? I don’t know.”

The Rest is History talks Christmas

“The birth of Jesus is followed by the Massacre of the Innocents,” notes Tom Holland. “The sense that life is brutal and cruel and dark is fundamental to the Christian understanding of what Christmas is about.”

“And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Tom Holland’s Christmas message,” adds Dominic Sandbrook.

Historians Holland and Sandbrook’s wildly popular historical podcast connects past events to the present in ways we may not have considered. For The Big Issue, they explore the origins of Christmas through the lens of today’s turbulent world.

We speak to Rugby great Gareth Thomas about HIV Stigma

Welsh Rugby legend Gareth Thomas is a powerful example of the huge medical advances that have been made in HIV treatment. However, public knowledge and attitudes have not – meaning stigma around the virus is still hugely damaging for many. This World Aids Day, on 1 December, Thomas wants that to change

“When I first found out, I thought somebody living with HIV would be frail or not have any life in them,” he said. “I want to be the complete opposite. Because HIV is no longer a virus that has to aff ect your life – and I, as one person of many, am living proof of that.”

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