New to BBC Radio 4, Mickey Flanagan: What Chance Change? is a stand-up/documentary series written and performed by the man himself that chronicles his own life from working class cockney urchin to nationally regarded comedian. In the first episode, we learn of his misguided adventures through school in the 1970s and his first experiences of working life.
For the majority of the show, Flanagan, who is joined by friends and family as contributors, examines the reasons why he left school with no formal qualifications but also attempts to unravel the mystery of ‘class culture’ and why he and so many of his working class friends shared the low aspirations of others in their community.
As the show progresses, you start to develop quite an affinity for Flanagan, and although the topics he raises are serious points of debate, he discusses them in such a way that keeps the show fun and light hearted, but also interesting. What makes the show even more fascinating is that we now know that Flanagan is a successful comic living in a middle class area of London, visiting expensive restaurants (for the “ambience”) and writing for broadsheet newspapers. Not bad for a former porter at Billingsgate Fish Market.
You can still catch the first episode by selecting the link below. The next in the series will be broadcast tomorrow at 11PM, where Flanagan takes us through his 1980s. I highly recommend you follow him.
by George Zielinski