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.