He thought he was washed up before he’d started. Now, using politicians’ words against them, Michael Spicer is part of a new wave of satirists finding success outside TV
Michael Spicer has been trying – mostly failing – to make it as a comedian for the best part of two decades. As a teenager, Spicer amassed enough rejection letters to wallpaper the spare bedroom of his family home. (He was a precocious teenager.) Spicer kept plugging away at comedy writing throughout his 20s and 30s, pitching to TV commissioners but receiving unending rejections. “A lot of the stuff I wrote wasn’t quite good enough,” he admits. It wasn’t that Spicer wasn’t getting anywhere at all – “I would always touch the surface of success,” he says – but he certainly wasn’t getting anywhere fast.
Parts in BBC satirical comedy The Mash Report, hosted by Nish Kumar, and the Diane Morgan sitcom Mandy were promising, but they weren’t enough to make ends meet, so Spicer took a job writing copy for a shipping company. His mother couldn’t understand why his career never seemed to take off.