David Mitchell’s Back Story is many things. It’s a backstory of Mitchell’s life growing up and getting into show business, but it’s also a bit of a walking tour around where he lives. He goes on walks because he has a bad back (hence the title) and takes us on one of these strolls, pointing out landmarks, which often trigger memories.
We get Mitchell’s story of his hero Michael Palin coming up to him in a pub and complimenting him and Mitchell not handling it well, we get his involvement with Footlights, which also spawned the talents of John Cleese, Douglas Adams, Simon Jones, and so on, and we of course get the introduction to his friendship with Robert Webb. We also get Mitchell’s agnostic thoughts on religion, love interests, and a fair amount of alcohol.
Best bit so far:
I sidled up to John Wilkinson and asked him nonchalantly if he fancied the birthday trip to The Wrath of Khan. He said yes! This was a tremendous leap forward for my social confidence, not to mention the glamor of the guest list. It’s how Ricky Gervais must have felt when Ben Stiller agreed to appear on Extras. Off we went to the cinema. Then back to my house for tea. I asked John Wilkinson, the guest of honor, to sit next to me pointedly distancing myself from my less popular closer friends. Soon, I wouldn’t need them. It’s how Ricky Gervais must feel when he sees Robin Ince.