BROTHERS Lee and Adam Parkinson have 25 years of teaching experience between them, and have channelled their experiences and stories into an award-winning podcast and two bestselling books.

Described as ‘Education’s answer to Adam Kay’ (Adam Kay being the doctor whose book This Is Going To Hurt was turned into a BBC TV drama and a one-man show), the Two Mr Ps are on the road with their Show and Tell Tour, coming to Bradford this weekend.

Lee has been a primary school teacher for more than 15 years. He says: “For me, teaching is about the children, that’s why I still love working in the classroom. There’s something special about seeing children develop and having a helping hand in that. The fact that children are the most unintentional comedians on the planet also brings many moments of hilarity. No day is ever the same.

“I also recognise that our education system is at breaking point and I’ve become outspoken about trying to improve our profession. It should be the best job in the world. Due to factors such as underfunding, Ofsted and the like, that isn’t a reality for many teachers and I want to change that.”

Says Adam: “I’ve worked as a teaching assistant for 10 years. I adore working with children and helping them realise their potential. School days can be the best days of your life, I try my best to make sure the children leave with amazing memories.”

When they came up with the idea of a podcast they never dreamed it would lead to two Sunday Times bestsellers - Put a Wet Paper Towel On It and This is Your Own Time You’re Wasting - and now a second UK tour.

Says Lee: “We had a family holiday and sat around sharing funny stories from school. I was an avid podcast listener so thought it could be fun to record ourselves sharing stories and asking others to share theirs.

“Five years and over five million listens later, here we are. I’m so thankful to everyone who has supported us.

Adam: “To be honest, when Lee first asked me about starting a podcast I wasn’t even sure what a podcast was! I’m not

sure I even know now, but the journey it has taken us on is the stuff of dreams. The podcast has grown, especially through the pandemic with teaching staff working in bubbles and isolated. It provided a safe space for people to feel like they were back in a staffroom with their colleagues.”

Audiences at their lives shows are encouraged to share stories. But not everyone who goes to see the Two Mr Ps is a teacher. Says Adam: “Everyone went to school. Everyone has those core memories and enjoys a nostalgic, hilarious look back into the past.”

Lee: “Even though school has changed a lot there are so many things that are still the same. We all remember belting out those assembly bangers in the hall, which I’m convinced is why concerts and festivals are elite in the UK. It starts in primary school assemblies screaming Sing Hosanna!”

What can we expect from the Show and Tell tour? Lee: “If you enjoy the podcast or the social media videos the show will be an extension of that. The first half is ‘showing’ the struggles of life as a teacher and the second half ‘telling’ stories.”

Are there any teachers’ stories on the podcast that stick out? Lee recalls: “One of our favourites was when a young single teacher went on a night out, hooked up with a guy, went back to his and stumbled to the bathroom in her birthday suit, to be greeted by the guy’s father - who turned out to be her headteacher! That would’ve made for one awkward performance review!”

Has their success had an impact on how they interact with students? Says Adam: “If a child asks me about the podcast or the books, I’m always honest, but children have to deal with me from 9am-3pm. I’m sure they’re more interested in Logan Paul and KSI! than a TA from school!”

Lee: “I’ve discussed with students about using social media has given me different opportunities and tried to put a positive spin on our internet safety lessons, showing that it can be a good thing if used safely and responsibly.

“With my own children now at secondary school, they find it cringey, as a few of their friends have seen some of my TikToks. But I remind them I’m not making content for kids - and what loser at school follows a teacher anyway!”

What can we expect from the pair in future? Lee: “I hope we can continue to grow and spread laughs and positivity in the education world and beyond. I’ve been involved in a new website harnessing AI to help teachers with admin tasks. I’m really excited about how this sort of technology can help teachers, especially in reducing workload. I’m passionate about moving our profession forward so we don’t continue with recruitment and retention issues and I believe tools like can really help, when it’s saving teachers on average over 10 hours a week.”

Adds Adam: “The messages of support we get are mind blowing. I’d love the Two Mr Ps to get more TV appearances. I think we’d do a cracking job hosting a show, even though I’ve been told I have a face for radio.”

* The Two Mr Ps are at St George’s Hall on Saturday, November 4. Suitable for age 16-plus.