Fags, Mags and Bags Series 3: It is the humour

There are many series where you have to start at the beginning. Most in fact, now I think about it for more than half a second. But Fags, Mags and Bags is not such a programme, which is why, if you haven’t heard it before, I urge you to drop everything – no, not that hammer, oh dear, sorry – and hie you to iPlayer or this handy link. Yes I know it’s episode 3 of series 3, but trust me, it really doesn’t matter. All you need to prepare is to read my handy four point briefing below, and you are fully-primed for that rare thing: beautifully written laugh-out-loud radio comedy.

Briefing for newcomers: 

  • It’s set in a newsagent/confectioners in Lenzie (in Glasgow) 
  • The shopkeeper is Ramesh; Dave is his assistant
  • Ramesh has two sons, Alok and Sanjay
  • It’s fucking funny

Episode 3 is actually a very good place to start. A new Slush machine leads Ramesh to ponder the very nature of Shop. It’s also a day of celebration for Margaret (the handy stick with the hook on the end). But you also have a few days to listen to the previous episode, in which Ramesh gets drawn into the murky underworld of local politics.

If you need endorsements other than your friendly pauseliveaction blog, FM&B has won a Writers Guild award and been nominated for a Sony. But who cares about such external paraphernalia when you have characters like local psychic Keith Futures, who is angered by surprise that he likes Slush drinks. ‘So I’m just supposed to eat mystical food am I, Black Magic, Monster Munch? And ghost, er, biscuits?’ and reveals that he inadvertently summoned Hitler rather than Charlie Chaplin as a spirit guide to help find an old lady’s keys (‘uncharacteristically helpful,’ muses Ramesh).

I know I’ve banged on about this show before (here) but I won’t rest until everyone is familiar with the Wall of Crisps and chocolate tools and FM&B has transferred to the West End. And till all the previous series are available for dowloading and multiple re-listening. And I’m invited on to play a small but recurring role as an English immigrant. Then I will rest.

Posted by Qwerty


Filed under Radio

7 responses to “Fags, Mags and Bags Series 3: It is the humour

  1. I heard Dom Jolly reviewing Fags, Mags & Bags on Radio 4 Extra’s What’s so Funny? and he said it wasn’t funny, all I can say is Dom Jolly lost what little kudos he had.
    Lenzie Rules!

  2. Rich

    I entirely agree. The thing that tipped me off that it was a more than ordinary series was the Wall of Crisps. An idea of genius.

    I once mentioned that just the way Ramesh said ‘foam shrimp’ made me laugh inordinately. Sanjeev Kohli then sent me a Tweet that simply said ‘Fooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooam shriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimp.’ Were it possible to treasure a Tweet, I would do so.

  3. Qwerty

    @John M – I think Dom Jolly got muddled – clearly he meant to say that *he* wasn’t funny and that Fags, Mags & Bags was a work of comic genius, whose boots he wasn’t fit to lick.

    @Rich – You *can* treasure tweets! Favourite that one immediately! They are nicely responsive tweeters aren’t they? After my last blog post Ramesh tweeted an offer for me to help myself to a Ritter Sport.

  4. Aargh! I didn’t know FM&B was back! How have I missed three episodes already?? Thanks for the tip-off, Qwerty!

    • Qwerty

      You haven’t missed three yet! You can still hear epis 2 and 3 on Listen Again so you’re almost at the beginning. But episode 3 is a classic.

  5. HBlack

    it is both amazing & great !
    Just the funniest thing I’ve ever heard on the radio
    Dom Jolly ? well he’s not is he !

  6. F

    One of the worst programmes ever made – how anyone can think that this is humour is beyond me. If I am busy in the kitchen and too distracted to hit the “off” button, I find that my teeth are worn down to stumps by 7pm through the fantastically irritating script and rabid overacting. One of the worst “comedies” on Radio 4.