Peep Show life
Peep Show appearances
|First appearance||Mark Makes a Friend|
|Latest appearance||Are We Going to Be Alright?|
Alan Johnson (frequently referred to as simply 'Johnson') is a fictional character in the television series Peep Show, and he is portrayed by Paterson Joseph.
A senior loan manager, Alan Johnson (generally referred to and addressed simply as "Johnson") befriends Mark after meeting him at JLB Credit. He is a suave and professional businessman and a sharp dresser, often seen wearing waistcoats. Mark was extremely impressed by Johnson, even beginning to question his own sexuality. However, Johnson did not return this sentiment, citing professional work reasons, and his heterosexuality.
As of series 2, he became Mark's boss. It is revealed that he runs a mentoring program for young, black men, and engages in community work. However, he was previously an alcoholic for 15 years, having been "to the bottom of the bottle, and back to the top." Mark continues to get on well with Johnson despite some upsets. Jeremy by contrast does not, especially after Big Suze leaves Jeremy for him. An early draft of the final episode of series three was to conclude with Johnson committing suicide, but the idea was rejected as being too dark. He was also married at one point, saying that he "doesn't need another hole in the head."
Johnson has a ruthless, Darwinian, attitude of survival of the fittest to business and life in general. He applies business maxims and ideology into everyday life, viewing his 'indecent proposal' to Jeremy, requesting permission to sleep with Big Suze for £530, as indifferent to "hiring a solicitor or leasing out a Spanish villa." This attitude is also seen in his eulogy for Gerrard in Series Eight, and when he orders Mark to fire Sophie, calling JLB a "maximum security business institution." and appearing outside the window as Mark is talking to Sophie, miming a gunshot to the head.
During season 6, after the termination of the UK JLB branch, he moves into a cheap house with Suze, referred to by Mark as his "recession residence" and shows signs of insanity due to his fall from power, including writing his name on fruit and becoming angry when Suze would eat a 'Johnson orange.' He swindles Mark out of £2,000 by attempting to make him an executive in a new management consulting firm called Consultio/Consultius. However, he does secure a contract with a company called Sales Direct, holding a meeting with executives Colin and Naz in the Mexican restaurant in which Mark works. In the final episode of season 7, however, his fortunes seem to have improved after he hosts a house warming/New Years eve party at his expensive new home. He hints to Mark that his upturn in fortune is due to direct marketing/pyramid schemes. However, in a fit of rage after seeing Mark at Big Suze’s rival New Years Eve Party, he throws away his alleged sobriety by downing a glass of champagne.
Johnson's fortunes appear to have improved even more at the outset of the 9th series. During Mark and Jeremy's falling out over Dobby, Johnson found employment as a bank manager and uses his position to recruit Mark. His ruthless management style reappears in series 9 episode 1 and indicates that he has recovered from his temporary insanity and is back in character.