TV: Brexit Stage Left, Viceland

Given that most comedians are sticking Brexit material into their act faster than you can say “Conservative minority” it is quite canny of broadcaster Viceland to come up with the four-part Brexit Stage Left, in which a group of comics – Jamali Maddix, Alfie Brown, Fern Brady and Sean McLoughlin – travel to Europe to see what we are going to be missing in a few years and also get to do a gig.

First up is a visit to Denmark, which, of course looks lovely. And Viceland clearly has a pretty good idea of its demographic – one of the first things Brown and Maddix do is visit Copenhagen hippy commune Christiania where weed is legal. Brown takes a quick puff and like a skunk-flavoured Proustian Madeleine it immediately jolts him back to his teenage snogging years. 

Elsewhere the gang try some vegan food and meet the locals and although they aren’t too keen on the rice cakes Brown is so smitten by the country he either wants to marry a Danish man or at least send his kids to live there so that he can get some peace and quiet back in England. 

The brisk first programme also includes a short stand-up set from Brown. I assume each week a different comic will get the TV stage time. I think Brown is one of the most interesting acts on the circuit. The Danish crowd’s ambivalent attitude to his opening "this could royally fuck up the gig" gambit of wondering how the gig is going to go made me worry for him, but I think he had a good result in the end and they seemed to warm to his fucked-up/extremely insightful view of the world. Brown can be bleak, angry, unpredictable, painfully honest and ludicrously self-indulgent but he is also clearly very thoughtful and very funny. Well worth a look.

Brexit Stage Left, Viceland, Wednesdays from June 14, 10pm.


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