May 29, 2023

S5E6: Doug Devaney

S5E6: Doug Devaney

Join us as we pick up the conversation with Doug Devaney who interviewed us last fall on The Plastic Podcasts.

A talented podcaster, Doug’s also an actor, writer, journalist, and self-proclaimed "songster, funster, punster, hamster." In this episode we delve into the core concept of The Plastic Podcasts, which centers around the notion that “we all come from somewhere else.”

Doug explores Irish diaspora narratives in England by engaging in lively discussions with actors, activists, artists, writers, academics, builders, and singers, while offering a platform to often overlooked people, including those with both African and Irish roots, as well as members of the Traveler community.

We explore why Doug believes that discussing Irishness necessitates addressing Britishness, how Irish Americans differ from the Irish in England, and why they use terms like London Irish or Birmingham Irish instead of Irish English or Irish British.

We delve into Doug's deep connection to his Irish identity despite growing up in England with an English mother, his County Clare roots, the instinctual bond among Irish people in England, the downplaying of Irish heritage in England during the 70s and 80s, his shift away from pursuing a career as a TV-inspired “verbose crime-busting lawyer” his ventures into playwriting, his commitment to preserving the stories of the Irish diaspora, and the backstories of his highly personal one-man plays.

Doug's talent for captivating storytelling, inventive writing, free-spirited performance, engaging conversational style, and mastery of the comic aside, make him a savory new ingredient for our Irish Stew.

But we never did find out about the hamster thing.


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Doug Devaney

Chief Cook and Bottlewasher at The Plastic Podcasts

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 i… Read More