Doug Devaney is a writer and performer based in Brighton. He is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and the producer-presenter of “The Plastic Podcasts”. He has performed for Secret Cinema, appeared in an award-winning Radio 4 adaptation of “I, Robot”, and co-authored a play about William Joyce (aka “Lord Haw Haw”) that has recently been adapted for radio. He has been a spokesperson on BBC Breakfast for men’s health, the focus of an international news story concerning fried chicken and artistic freedom, and was once disguised as Donald Trump to promote Paddy Power.
He is half English and half Irish, a mixture he carries with him everywhere.
The Plastic Podcasts tells the stories of the Irish in Britain and their descendants, himself included. In the last sixty years, they have gone from NINA* and “No blacks, no dogs, no Irish” through being potential terrorists, and the butt of “thick Mick” jokes, to their passports offering a last exit from Brexit.
Their grandmothers have kept them European, yet still they struggle to feel authentic.
It is a strange immigrant journey (the non-exotic foreigners, the navvies turned novelists) and it’s not over yet. The Irish diaspora still has a lot to say, and a lot to learn: particularly about itself.
Thus The Plastic Podcasts, a weekly series of interviews and an opportunity for members of the first second or third generation to talk at length about what their heritage means, and where they think it is taking them.
The conversations are wide-ranging and organic: Doug prefers to let the interviewees’ answers decide the direction of the chat rather than follow a pre-determined path. As a result they are as revelatory as they are varied. Poets, doctors, singers, nurses, activists and actors: all have their tales to tell, and all have one thing in common.
We all come from somewhere else.
*FYI: NINA used to stand for “No Irish Need Apply”