Painless Nostalgia

Book: Black Swan Green

Author: David Mitchell

Music: Knowing Me, Knowing You

Composer/Artist: Abba

Knowing Me, Knowing You is a dark Abba song. It’s essentially a pre-divorce ballad. But that’s not what I think about when I hear it, not since Steve Coogan created Alan Partridge and his talk show Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge. Its catchphrase – A Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! – rang around England in the mid-90s. It ran for only six episodes and a Christmas special but it’s unforgettable.  I worked at the BBC at the time and one of the things I enjoyed about that was the cool marketing merchandise we used to get that wasn’t generally available to the public. One of my favourite things was an Alan Partridge t-shirt which featured his famously unfashionable shirt, tie, and blazer ensemble on the front, making it look like you were wearing it. Funny. I don’t know where that t-shirt went. I do have another though, a Wallace and Gromit t-shirt, that I got in about 1994. My five-a-side football team wore them as team-shirts. I still have it – it’s in shreds but I can’t throw it out. And on that bombshell …

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