Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Mangan: Footlights was unwelcoming

Stephen Mangan never joined Footlights at university

Stephen Mangan may have gone to Cambridge University but he was never a member of the famous Footlights comedy group because he found it "unwelcoming".

The Green Wing star studied law at Cambridge and, during his first year, popped his head into the university's revered comedy group whose alumni include the likes of Stephen Fry, John Cleese and Peter Cook, but decided it wasn't for him.

He said: "It was so cliquey and they were so unwelcoming that I just decided not to bother."

Besides, he's never seen himself "as a comedian in that way", adding: "I always wanted to be a great classical actor."

He still looks back on his years at Cambridge with fondness.

"It was a wondrous three years cocooned in this very privileged environment in a beautiful city," he said.

"Whenever I go back to Cambridge now, I feel this terrible sense of loss for my youth, and feel bitter and vengeful.

"The city is rather fickle. She doesn't seem to care that we've moved on but welcomes whoever's there now."

He's not sure why he chose to study law, but added: "I'm glad I did though because it gave me three years to decide I didn't want to do law."

:: Stephen Mangan plays Tony Blair in The Comic Strip Presents The Hunt For Tony Blair, which is on Channel 4 on Friday, October 14.

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