In Season 1 of ‘This Time with Alan Partridge’, Alan is sat on the couch about to invite a guest onto the show. Here is what happens next…

Alan: ‘Here to tell us more about these moustachioed mammals, is the show’s creator, Alice Clunt!’ 

Guest: ‘…It’s Alice Fluck.’ 

Alan: ‘Oh. Right….I can see what I’ve done.’

As a viewer it got a big laugh as a gag. But let’s kill the joke by looking at how he gets from an ‘F’ to a ‘C’.

Just like Alan, you’ll sense right away what he’s done. He’s mixed up one with another, and added in an L. And if you follow the internal logic to the process you’ll probably end up with something that looks like this:

It starts with Alan hearing the name at some point (on the left) and thinking it sounds like a rude word, with a ‘L’, so when it comes to recall her name he thinks “I remember it was a rude word, with an L’, then generates options of rude words, before deciding to add an L to the wrong one.

I love that Alan reaches the conclusion of this process himself with, Oh. Right….I can see what I’ve done.’ 

It is kind of like mixing up a Partridge with a Sparrow.

Worth noting why the writers chose ‘Alice’ for the first name too – maybe as it is already associated with a song “Who the fluck is Alice”, or something not a million miles away.