Cockney comic Micky Flanagan proves that stand-ups come in all shapes and sizes
- Brian Donaldson
- 25 September 2013
Flanagan, like John Bishop, has shown that not all comics are young males in skinny jeans
There are various methods of gaining comedy fame these days, and not all of them require our stand-ups to be young males who are skinny of both hair and jean. There’s also the John Bishop method of getting on: wait until you’ve actually lived a life, gather up a bunch of affable stories, plough the small-venue furrow, take the odd financial hit, get onto a chat and/or panel show and bingo, you’ll soon be selling out rooms the size of cruise ships.
If Bishop was Cockney rather than Scouse and grew his hair out a bit more, he’d quite simply be Micky Flanagan. The pair’s stratospheric ascent to fame has been uncannily similar, with both having played small Pleasance sweatboxes at the Fringe. In 2007, Flanagan became the oldest act to be shortlisted for the Best Newcomer prize while Bishop got a slot on the main awards list in 2009 after several years ploughing away to little audience interest. And both have an air of the everyman about them, underdogs who have risen to be top cats with their blokish bonhomie striking a real chord once the public was finally alerted to their actual existence.
After glorious success with the Out Out tour, Flanagan returns with Back in the Game, in which he will discuss his ‘Africa poor’ East End childhood, a continued love of low-level crime and his dad’s wartime stories. An abject lesson in never giving up, Micky Flanagan’s career goes from massive to positively lunar.
The Hydro, Glasgow, Thu 10 Oct.