News: Micky Flanagan – "A strange and sullen child"

Micky Flanagan says that his mother once described him as a "strange and sullen child". 

He was talking to Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs, where he charted his life from its working class council estate roots to his current superstar status. He resists calling himself middle class though. "There’s no way in a million years I want to be recognised as middle class or upper middle class. Can you think of anything more horrific?”

Flanagan also talked about visiting his father when he was in Pentonville Prison and how a trip to Fire Island, near New York changed his outlook on life and made him realise that you had to take a chance on the unknown: “This is what happens when you take a chance. You can sit around all day talking about what you’re going to do, thinking about what you’d like to do – you’ve got to go and do it. So, I got on a plane to New York and went It was a place of great partying and excess, where he worked in kitchens doing “bit of this, bit of that”.  

It was the same taking-a-chance attitude that got him into stand-up after he had been a mature student and bagged a degree in his late twenties. He was a painter and decorator when he did his first open spots without telling his friends: “If I’ve got any advice to give to people who are going to start doing it – just do it really quietly… Don’t take your friends along, don’t take your aunt Mary along. You go there very quietly, on your own, do the gig.”

Having just completed a run of gigs at the 02 Arena he admitted that he likes big arenas but not big entrances: “I don’t ever want to get to the point where I come down on a swing.”

His records were songs from Billy Bragg, The Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffet, Change, David Gray, John Holt and Oasis.

Listen to the programme here.

His new live DVD An Another Fing Live. is released on Monday, November 20. Buy it here.

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