Micky Flanagan: Interview

  • It wasn’t all plain sailing. Back in London, Flanagan took up an apprenticeship as a furniture maker. Several years later, with Flanagan still there, the business went bankrupt. He studied for a GCSE in English. He progressed to foundation courses in the arts and social sciences, then to a degree at City University in Clerkenwell. He did teacher training. ‘The unhappiest year of my life. It wasn’t the kids. It was because everything that was wrong about the school system when I was young was still the same.’

    Flanagan had been to a lot of live comedy. In the summer of 1996 he went to a stand-up course at Jackson’s Lane in Highgate. The early gigs, he says, contained ‘equal amounts of terror and excitement’. ‘In the beginning I’d do painting and decorating to supplement my income. For the last five years I’ve made enough from comedy to live off.’ Four years ago Flanagan got his first paid weekend at The Comedy Store. Around then he was booked for his first overseas gig in Singapore. He’s now a successful and sought-after stand-up. He owns his own home in East Dulwich. He dips his bread in olive oil. ‘I’ve moved more towards the middle classes. I sit around discussing ideas. Before, when I sat around with people, we’d talk about paint finishes and getting away early from work.’

    He’s called his first full-length solo show ‘What Chance Change?’. It’s partly about his life. It’s about change, but also about what continues. ‘Most people are still working their bollocks off for multi-national conglomerates. Most people are discontented. Most people are searching for ways to make their lives more fulfilling.’

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