Observations: Stand up for some teen angst

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The Independent Culture

"My life is essentially a string of embarrassing and shameful incidents punctuated only by telling people about the embarrassing and shameful incidents." So runs Russell Brand's stand-up credo. He's not alone: comedians thrive on embarrassment – of their hecklers, of their family, of their hapless front-row fans and, more often than not, of themselves. So what better segment of society to participate in a new exercise in shameless soul-baring on Radio 4? In a new series, My Teenage Diary (starting next Wednesday at 11pm), six stand-ups will dust off their adolescent journals and read out, Adrian Mole-style, their angstiest extracts for our amusement.

First up is Richard Herring, who reveals himself to have been a precociously engaged and politicised youth, calling for the abolition of the monarchy and noting his thoughts on a biography of Gandhi ("Am v impressed. I think we would have had a lot to share.") Happily, it's not long before the classic dissatisfied teen surfaces – "My mum is pathetic. She's so immature. In fact, I hate the whole fabric of society" – along with those first awkward interactions with the opposite sex: "Pushed two sweet wrappers down Sarah's cleavage..."

Each 15-minute segment ends with the song that most sums up the subject's teenage years. Future readers include Josie Long and Russell Kane: listen out for a recurring thread about his school textile project and the hilarious poem, title "Bitch", dedicated to a cheating first love.