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