In his pre-comedy career, Micky Flanagan worked, among other things, as a fish porter and furniture maker. Now the Cockney stand-up is lifting the lid on the world of advertising in a new Channel 4 comedy panel show, The Mad Bad Ad Show, alongside fellow comedian Mark Watson and host Mark Dolan. TV&Satellite Week magazinecaught up with him for a ‘thought shower’..

Each week on the show Mark Watson and I have to make ads for a product that is difficult to sell, with the help of some industry bigwigs… For example, one week I’m selling cardboard boxes to children, and another I’m trying to make cereal sexy.

I am definitely affected by advertising… Whenever I go past KFC, I sing: ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken, everybody’s favourite bird!’ Or if the wife and I talking about what to have for dinner, I’ll burst into the Birdseye Steakhouse song: ‘Will it be mushrooms? Fried onion rings? You’ll have to wait and see…’

My agent once sent me to audition for an ad to launch a new savoury snack… They told me I had to be a very enthusiastic Twiglet and I said: ‘I don’t think I’m your man’.

I grew up in a house a bit like Del Boy’s… If a copper knocked at the door, it usually meant there would be problems. My mum used to say ‘earwigs at the rhubarb’ if she thought someone was listening in on an incriminating conversation. I’m thinking of using it as the title of my autobiography.

When I was 18, I went to New York for a summer… It was a fairly unusual thing to do back then. They couldn’t understand a word I said, but they’re fascinated by the British. The only fly in the ointment is when they come over here and find out we don’t like them.

The past year has been beyond belief… I did a sell-out tour of 150 dates, a West End run that was the fastest-selling ticket since Eddie Izzard and my DVD has sold something like 300,000 copies. But in the process I’ve used all my best stand-up material and now I’ve got to write some more.

I don’t know if Madonna can just pop out for a drink with her friends, but I certainly can… Carry on normally and you’ll be surprised how normally you’re treated. If you start jumping out of stretch limos with bodyguards and dark glasses on, everyone’s going to go: ‘Who’s that?’

The Mad Bad Ad Show starts on Channel 4 on Friday, February 17