Boris Johnson – The Room Next Door and the Ashford comedian who became a viral sensation during a pandemic
Twitter can be a nasty place at times, but it can also be home to some seriously funny comedy.
One Kent comedian has used his social media channels to become an internet sensation.
Michael Spicer, who lives in Aldington near Ashford, has amassed more than 400,000 followers on Twitter and is best known for his hilarious political sketches.
The former copywriter has performed videos featuring the likes of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock.
Signing up to the KentLive newsletter means you’ll receive our daily news email every morning.
It couldn’t be simpler and it takes seconds – simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions.
You can also enter your address right at the top of this page in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms.
Changed your mind? There’s an ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of every newsletter we send out.
Born in Barking, Michael has been in comedy since he was 17 and after a few false starts, became a viral star overnight after one sketch about Boris Johnson went viral.
After an interview of Johnson struggling to answer a question about his hobbies had been shared widely, Michael went home and produced a minute long sketch hoping to capitalise.
The idea of the video was that Michael was in Boris Johnson’s ear telling him what to say and what not to say – and the end result was hilarious.
The video has been viewed millions of times and was the big break he was looking for – the rest, as they say, is history.
“The Boris Johnson video changed it all for me. I thought it would go down well but I didn’t think it would change my life because you never go into anything with that mindset,” he said.
‘That was the key for me, that I realised that I could keep bringing him back’
“I had gone viral in the past quite a few times but nothing ever came from it. What changed it and what made me realise it was different from all the other times was because it was a character that had potential to go viral and not just one joke.
“That was the key for me, that I realised that I could keep bringing him back and people would enjoy it.”
The Boris Johnson clip was the start of something spectacular and would go on to change his life.
Just a couple of days later and Michael was at it again – this time the Dalai Lama was the next person to face the brunt of ‘The Room Next Door’.
“The key for me was the Dalai Lama interview which came the day after the Boris Johnson interview and I really gathered momentum then.”
With a Conservative party leadership election and a general election all taking place in 2019, there was plenty for the comedian to get stuck into.
“Over the course of that year it was building and building and I was able to quit my job in March 2020 because of a few things but mainly because a publisher asked me if I wanted to do a book.”
In America, Donald Trump was also providing Spicer with plenty of material and it wasn’t long before one international entertainment start was made aware of Spicer’s skill.
‘James Corden slid into my DMs…but then COVID happened’
James Corden, the host of the Late Late Show in America, approached the Kent comedian about doing some sketches for the show in 2019 and while things didn’t quite turn out as expected, it gave the father of two even more coverage.
He said: “James Corden just slid into my DMs yeah.
“I said yes that would be great but then COVID happened.
“Trump was giving these daily briefings and he got back in touch and he asked me if I would do a room next door for the briefings.
“It was the same process and it was the most seamless experience I have had.”
“We exchanged emails quite a lot because I appeared on six shows. They brought in writers from their side to help me out on occasions because the turnover was so fast. This was the closest I have got to feeling the pressure and when they offered very good writers I put my controlling nature to one side.”
“They have been a joy to work with. It would be nice to meet James face to face and thank him in person. He was extraordinarily good natured and very kind. He could have passed me on to his people but he kept in touch and was tremendously supportive so I have nothing but good words for him.”
Michael’s success has certainly brought about a number of high profile followers as well as some slightly more bemusing ones too – including some of the people he rips apart online.
“Matt Hancock follows me on Twitter. I did an impression of him doing one of his strange election videos and I got a follow. Since then I have attacked him and berated him and I check every now and then but he still follows me.”
“Keir Starmer and Nicola Sturgeon. It is very strange that any cabinet member would want to follow me but they do. There have been many blue tickers who have followed me and that’s great because as soon as they share it I reach new audiences.”
The success of the sketches had led to Spicer organising a UK tour for 2021 – the first comedy tour of his career.
Shows in Canterbury, Ashford and Margate were all scheduled to take place in the first half of this year, but the current restrictions mean the show has been delayed.
“I think we will wait until we can get full audiences back so whenever that comes along and start changing dates then. The show will continue through the next door sketches and autobiographical stuff.”
You can view all of Michael’s Twitter content here and can follow his YouTube channel here.