Two Point Hospital is the wacky medical sim currently in development by the same crew that made the cult classic Theme Hospital for Bullfrog Studios in 1997. They've managed to recreate the same charm and slightly deadpan humor of the original game with weird diseases and bizarre staff pronouncements.
In a conversation with GamesRadar, creators Gary Carr and Mark Webley said they spent a lot of time talking with one famous British personality in the hopes he'd contribute his talents to the game. That would be Steve Coogan, who they were trying to get to reprise his character of Alan Partridge.
"You probably heard the hospital radio DJs," Webley says, with a sigh. "There are three, but when we originally thought of the idea, the perfect person would've been Alan Partridge. We spent so long talking [with Steve Coogan], but it just got to the point where he was going to be too busy."
The Alan Partridge character is a comedic caricature of British broadcast personalities, portrayed as a tactless, bumbling radio and TV presenter whose inflated sense of celebrity drives him to treachery and lack of manners leads to shameless self-promotion and is oblivious to the insults he throws at his guests.
The fall from TV star to hospital radio DJ would've been a perfect descent into indignity for Partridge, and Carr said Webley was heartbroken by the rejection. "He sulked for months." Webley admitted to GamesRadar that it made him want to trash the idea of having the radio stations altogether.
Inspiration for the idea came from early prototypes of Two Point Hospital that used Alan Partridge audio as placeholder banter for the in-hospital radio. The audio was taken from Mid Morning Matters, a series that first appeared on YouTube, where Alan Partridge works as a DJ at North Norfolk Digital after the failure of his TV career.
All that being said, the Two Point Studios is still pushing through with the radio hospital DJ idea, using a trusted talents they've worked with since their days at the now defunct Lionhead Studios. That's good to hear, as the warped world of Two Hospital inhabits surely stands to benefit from more of that absurd British humor.