We’ve had comedian John Bishop exploring the east coast of Australia on a bike, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon eating their way around Italy in the second series of The Trip, and mostly recently it was the turn of east-ender Micky Flanagan.
He donned lycra for a bicycle tour around France, completing his own version of the Tour de France road race –which included plenty of vineyards – with his mate Noel.
It was a “jolly”, he cheerily admits to RadioTimes.com. Flanagan wanted to “get a bit fitter”, was “sort of quite interested in the French” and was looking for a sport that “wouldn’t injure” him (he later discovered the pain of potholes). It was not a “mission” or a “journey”, he insists, joking that “the cycling part did get in the way at times”.
The comedian says there was never any thought of outdoing his fellow funnymen: “I think you’d be lying if you didn’t say that you want your show to be as good as other comics’. But not in the sense that I would want anyone else not to do well at my expense.”
“Comics are not natural competitors,” Flanagan adds. “We’re individuals – we’re not team players – but we’re also not competitors either.”
Of Bishop’s efforts on a bike, Flanagan says, “You’ve got to go back ten years and me and John are in a car on our way to Yarmouth to do a show together. That night we weren’t really competing” – comic pause – “although I was always funnier. And in this we’re not really competing either.”
He can’t resist a cheeky pay-off. “When John does learn to speak English his act is going to go up exponentially. And once he starts to learn to wash himself, that’ll be a help for him, too.”
Micky Flanagan’s Detour De France is available now on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital download with an exclusive extra episode.
Emma is RadioTimes.com’s resident reality TV expert and is most likely to be found chasing Simon Cowell down the street, cancelling her social life to keep up with the latest batch of sob stories and trying to get selfies with celebrities. Emma is a chat show addict and quotes Friends more than is probably healthy.