Born and raised in Bethnal Green, comedian Micky Flanagan is a bona fide cockney. If you’ve caught his stand-up you’ll also know he’s one of the funniest men in London.
You described your childhood as being like an episode of ‘Only Fools and Horses…’ How so?
‘Well I have to be a little bit protective of my parents. They weren’t archcriminals, but there was a general flow of stolen goods in our house. I’d wake up with my face in a box of Hoovers.’
What are your early memories of London?
‘Everything felt old and slightly tired and broken, that’s my overriding memory. The other thing I remember is there were a lot of sort of tramps around. Every drunk in London seemed to be attracted to the East End.’
Is it true you worked at the old Billingsgate fish market?
‘I did. At about 8.30, you’d have men pulling trolleyloads of fish past men in bowler hats on their way to the Stock Exchange. I’d sit on a wall having a cup of tea as the sun came up looking at the river, never ever quite getting over how powerful this city seemed. You know, the sheer energy of the place and how much energy you have to have to keep up with it.’
Who’s your favourite Londoner?
‘It’s a bit predictable, but I’m going for Del Boy. There’s little bit of Del Boy in every Londoner. You have to become like him to get by.’
What law would you pass to make London a better place?
‘I would stop people having private conversations in public places. All you’re allowed to say is “yes” or “no”, “beans not peas” or “half a lager”.’
You can book now for Micky Flanagan’s 2013 tour ‘Back In The Game’ at livenation.co.uk, or watch his last one, ‘Micky Flanagan Live: The Out Out Tour’, on DVD.