Fags, Mags and Bags

Fags, Mags and Bags

Infobox Radio Show
show_name = Fags, Mags and Bags

imagesize = 130x130px
caption = The picture of the cast
other_names =
format = Comedy
runtime = 30 minute episodes
country = flagcountry|United Kingdom
language = English
home_station = BBC Radio 4
syndicates =
television =
starring = Sanjeev Kohli, Donald McLeary, Kayvan Novak (Season 1) Susheel Kumar (Season 2) & Omar Raza
creator =
writer =
director = Colin Gilbert
producer = Gus Beattie
script editor = Niall Clark
executive_producer =
narrated =
record_location =
first_aired = 26 June 2008
last_aired = Present
num_series =
num_episodes = 6 (As of 26 June 2008)
audio_format = Stereophonic sound
opentheme =
endtheme =
website = [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/comedy/fagsmagsandbags.shtml Fags, Mags and Bags homepage]
podcast =

"Fags, Mags and Bags" is a British radio comedy broadcast on the BBC's main spoken-word channel, Radio 4. After only its first season, the series had been nominated for a Sony Radio Award. A second season has been commisioned and will be broadcast sometime in late 2008.


"Shopkeeping is a profession; it’s a tradition, a way of life. That’s what proud shopkeeper Ramesh Mahju thinks. Pity his sons don’t agree..."

Join the staff of Fags, Mags and Bags in their tireless quest to bring nice-price custard creams and cans of coke with Arabic writing on them to an ungrateful nation. Enter this heady world of behind the counter philosophy, courtesy of the Majhu family, the head of which is Ramesh.

Ramesh has built the shop up over the course of 30 years, and is a firmly entrenched feature of the local area. Ramesh is ably assisted by his shop sidekick Dave, a forty-something underachiever who shares Ramesh’s love of the art of shopkeeping, even if he is treated like a slave.

Then of course there are Ramesh’s sons Sanjay and Alok, both surly and not particularly keen on the old school approach to shopkeeping, but natural successors to the business. Ramesh is keen to pass all his worldly wisdom onto them whether they like it or not.


Ramesh ("Sanjeev Kohli"): The owner, or vanguard if you will (actually no – just ‘owner’) of Fags, Mags and Bags. Lenzie’s premier vendor of newspapers, confectionary, and last minute green toilet roll which is invariably accessed by that big long stick with a hook on it from a high shelf. Ramesh loves being a shopkeeper and loves all the aspects of the art of shop (and, yes, he genuinely considers it to be an art). He applies the ‘low return’ rules of shop to all other aspects of his life, and therefore comes across as a bit tight with money. This is unfair though, Ramesh is merely cognisant of the fact that each chocolate tool sold returns 0.35 pence into the coffers and yet the said coffers have provided Ramesh with a tan Mercedes and a pair of tassled mushroom loafers.

Sanjay ("Omar Raza"): Sanjay is sixteen and consequently both angry and confused. One thing is quite clear to him though – he doesn’t want to work in a shop. In terms of attitude, he combines the indifferent of a flock of Goths perched outside a major railway station, with the sarcasm of a flock of Goths perched outside a major railway station. Forced to do shifts in the shop for pocket money, and to maintain the Roof Over His Head ™ he blasts out drum and bass with his beanie hat pulled over his eyes in a feeble act of rebellion against women buying Chomps and Grazie. Commonly used phrases include: “You’re not the boss of me”, “it’s a free country”, “Don’t be writing no cheques yo ass can’t cash” “Kick his ass to the kerb one time” and “I like American things.”

Alok ("Kayvan Novak (Season 1), Susheel Kumar (Season 2)"): Alok would like to think of himself as the Asian Richard Branson, to the extent that he would happily launch a new online bread roll delivery service dressed in a bridal gown before throwing Kate Thornton into a nearby swimming pool for the assembled press. Unfortunately his only outlet for his cutting-edge business ideas is his dad’s shop, where the press are rarely assembled, and dad isn’t interested. In fact, dad’s response to his many schemes (internet pillar, hover shoes, self building Lego) is remarkably like an open mouthed guffaw.

Dave ("Donald McLeary"): Ramesh’s sidekick, best friend and to the causal observer, hetero life partner. Dave is unencumbered by ambition, angst, and adenoids (after a childhood incident involving a snowball with a stone in it). Dave is one of life’s learners – he has a hunger for knowledge which is satisfied by the burgeoning spectrum of part work publications which rain like intellectual gold dust onto the shop counter (free binder with part one) You may get the impression that Dave would work at the shop even if he wasn’t paid. And you would be right. To have that impression. Because he would. Work at the shop. Even if he wasn’t being paid. So well done you.

Recurring characters

Gerard Kelly as Father Henderson

Marjorie Hogarth as Keenan

Leah Mcrae as Keenan's mum

Episode guide

Season 1

Episode 1: Raising Keenan

Ramesh is keen that young tearaway Keenan has good male role models and a potential companion for Keenan's Mum. He screens potential applicants (male customers).

Episode 2: The De-Magowaning of Ramesh

Ramesh is delighted as he teaches his son the fine Arts of shopkeeping, but Sanjay's only really wanting to do so in order to use the Merc for the prom. However, the shopkeeping methods isn't as easy as it looks...

Episode 3: Wall of Crisps

As Ramesh stocks up Chutney Windmills crisps along with the cash prize inside, it bring more trouble than they are worth, with blood relatives and customers.

Episode 4: Build The Titanic

As a regular customer almost finishes her partwork magazine of the Titanic, he finds it impossible to find the rare copy of Issue 200 with the small man. With Alok's lastest gadget (webcam on a hat), they send Sanjay off to Holland to try and find as well as Ramesh's own search.

Episode 5: The Festival of Maltodextrin

In order to shift a mountain of fireworks, Ramesh concocts a fake religion.

Episode 6: January February

Opinions clash, issues are raised when Ramesh allows a political poster in the shop window.

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