"Oh my god, that was like an advert for the IRA".
BBC viewers were treated to the single most hilarious Alan Partridge moment in years last night as Steve Coogan's gaffe-prone character came face-to-face with his Irish doppelgänger.
Episode 4 of the new series This Time With Alan Partridge concluded with snaggle-toothed Sligo farmer Martin Brennan, also played by Coogan, sitting down with his British looalike for an interview about his life as a farmer in Ireland.
Then, this happened...
Vol. Alan Partridge pic.twitter.com/Uk9sfTtmFq
— Tam Sellics son (@gibbogibby1) 18 March 2019
As the credits began to roll, Martin and his country band suddenly broke out into song with Irish rebel anthems ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ and ‘Men Behind the Wire’ – much to the chagrin of Alan himself.
In classic Partridge style, the blundering presenter then turned to co-host Jennie (Susannah Fielding) and muttered: "Oh my god, that was like an advert for the IRA".
The bizarre scene left viewers in tears just minutes before BBC News at Ten – perhaps the last place anyone expected to hear about the green and lovely lanes of Killashandra after St Patrick's Day.
Needless to say, the reaction online was something else...
— Greg James (@gregjames) 18 March 2019
The last sequence in This Time With Alan Partridge on BBC1 just now might become one of the most memorable pieces of TV this year. Have a look at this! #ThisTime #ThisTimeWithAlanPartridge pic.twitter.com/WNjToqs4Xk
— Danny McElhinney (@DannyMcElhinney) 18 March 2019
Steve Coogan has managed the impossible; taking Alan Partridge to a whole new level. ‘Irish Alan’ singing “Come Out You Black And Tans” is a piece of TV gold.
If you haven’t been tuning in to #thistime, then you need to start.
— Martin T Coughlan (@MartinCough333) 18 March 2019
Absolutely disgusted what Alan partridge did tonight praising the Ira insulting the British Protestant people of Ulster #boycott
— Craig Flanaghan (@CFlanaghan) 18 March 2019
Come out ya Black and Tans sang on BBC1 just before the 10 o’clock news? It can only be Alan Partridge genius! I nearly wet myself #ThisTime
— Gary Byrne (@gizbyrne) 18 March 2019
Irish Alan Partridge. Quite possibly the most glorious thing ever seen on the old box #ThisTime
— Ed Hocknull (@EdHocknull) 18 March 2019
Sitting here, just laughing to myself quietly about last night's episode of This Time with Alan Partridge. Probably one of the best half hours of television comedy I've ever seen.
— Gregg (@GreggC_CC) 19 March 2019
Still not over that Irish Alan Partridge lookalike singing “Come out, ye Black and Tans” live on tv.
— Kevin Michael McGuinness (@Guinnesszoon) 19 March 2019