Micky Flanagan ventures up North to bring us some Cockney comedy
This September 28 th 2013, Sheffield will be treated to some Southern humour. Micky Flanagan ventures up North as part of his latest tour: The Back In The Game Tour.
The comedian’s career has taken off after years doing various jobs such as window cleaning, decorating and even a stint as a trainee teacher. His last tour was one of the fasting selling stand-up tours in the West End, and this one aims to be even more successful with three shows at the Wembley Arena and a seven night run at the O2.
Fame for Micky Flanagan is not fast cars or big houses. It is a sausage sandwich. The Cockney comedian likes nothing better than having a quiet moment in his kitchen making a sandwich.
That's the kind of thing that is an adventure to me these days.
He smiles. It certainly makes a change from playing sold out shows, which is what he is spending most of 2013 doing on his biggest tour yet. He says that hitting the big 50 didn’t really worry him;
Someone suggested I should lie about my age. If I was a film star or a pop star maybe, but comedians are supposed to tell the truth. Frankie Boyle says you can't be a stand-up after forty. On the other hand Bob Monkhouse once said you can't be funny until you are over forty. So how much time does that leave you to be funny? About a year.
Flanagan's challenge with Back In The Game was coming up with material to match previous classic routines, such as his famous "out out" story, where you pop out for a quick drink and end up in a club still wearing your slippers. If his last show was all about his life up to becoming a comedian via Billingsgate market, living in America – "where I was an international lover and player" – and doing a City University degree in Social Science, Back In The Game is about where he is now.
The new show is about the small things in life:
The centrepiece is about me making a sausage sandwich. My life has slowed down to such a point [that] if my wife goes out for the day that's how I create excitement. I also talk about the two off licenses in my life – the one I go to normally and the one I pop into for the second bottle of wine. Things like that. So all these little details I'm pulling in to say to 'this is where I'm at.'
For Flanagan the future is currently all about stand-up. There is talk of a sitcom at some point if he can find the time. He is also writing his autobiography. He is proud of his Cockney roots and never tries to hide them onstage. At first when he started performing outside London he was anxious that this might be a problem, but his pin-sharp observational humour won everyone over:
We were concerned about the Lowry in Salford on the last tour, whether anyone would turn up, but we ended up selling five nights. They seemed to accept me as one of them even though I'm clearly from a council estate in London.
Flanagan speaks as if his success is an accident, but it is really all down to hard work and talent. Yet he is typically modest about making audiences everywhere laugh their socks off:
I can make no sense of it except that we took a few risks and they seemed to pay off. There are only two things to keep in my mind. I'm enjoying it and the audience is enjoying it. If we can keep those things bubbling along for a while that would be great.
MOTORPOINT ARENA, SHEFFIELD