Michael Grainger is a disaffected young man living with his parents in 1970s Stockton-on-Tees. Frustrated with the banality of his existence, and fully aware of his own intellect and lack of scruples, he resolves to escape by making as much money as he can in the least possible time. After a brief dalliance with petty crime, he eventually enrols on an art course at a local college with the express intention of doing as little work as possible while pursuing attractive female students. Mick, as he becomes known, has absolutely no artistic talent but discovers a personal flair for 'conceptual art' and a genius for shocking people. Thus begins the career of a charlatan... Once established in London, it is not long before Grainger is rubbing shoulders with a rogue's gallery of slippery agents, drug-dealers, gangsters and ladies of questionable virtue in his pursuit of fame and fortune - all through the hokum he pretends is art.
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