Jason Manford hopes to get some giggles with new material in Telford show
Funnyman Jason Manford is planning a major tour in 2018. And Midlands fans will get a sneak preview at Telford’s Oakengates Theatre @ The Place on Thursday. He’ll be presenting a work-in-progress show at the venue, trialling material so that it’s good to go for his forthcoming shows in the New Year.
The comic has had a whirlwind 12 months and had to delete his Twitter account earlier this year after being targeted by trolls. He had posted an emotional video following the terrorist attack at Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert, sparking a backlash from Twitter users. A family friend was among those killed and Jason was tearful on Facebook Live when he spoke out.
He has since reactivated his account – and has spent recent times posting about football, making jokes or promoting his tour.
Jason was born in Salford, Lancashire, in 1981 and began his career in 1999, while working at the Buzz Comedy Club upstairs at the Southern Hotel in Chorlton, Manchester. He was collecting glasses when a performer didn’t arrive for an evening set. Jason, who was 17 at the time, stepped in to fill the gap, an event which marked the beginning of his comedy career. Six gigs later he was crowned The City Life North West Comedian of the Year.
He supports Manchester City FC and has a season ticket with his Dad and three brothers. He cites Billy Connolly as the first comedian he saw when he was nine-years-old. Billy was the first inspiration for him to become a comedian. He has a love for family friendly entertainers like Eric Morecambe, Tommy Cooper and Les Dawson. Later on comics like Jasper Carrott and Dave Allen influenced Manford, but it wasn’t until he saw Peter Kay he decided to have a go himself.
After winning several smaller awards, Jason was nominated for the Perrier Award in Edinburgh in 2005 for his show ‘Urban Legends’, a stand-up show about those stories that always seem to happen to a friend of a friend. Jason did the comedy clubs of the UK, including the Comedy Store and Jongleurs, and did many gigs abroad as far afield as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and China.
His first major television appearance was when he was a guest on the Channel 4 panel show, 8 out of 10 cats, presented by Jimmy Carr. Jason was on Dave Spikey’s team alongside Piers Morgan and later went on to replace Dave Spikey as team captain in 2007. He continued in the role until 2011.
Since then, Jason has presented Sky Three’s ‘Premier League Allstars Extra Time’, Channel 4’s ‘Tonightly’, performed at the Royal Variety Performance, on ‘Channel 4’s Comedy Gala’, ITV1’s ‘The Comedy Annual 2010’, BBC1’s ‘Would I Lie to You’, become a regular on ITV1’s ‘Odd One In’ with Peter Andre and was given his voice to sing in BBC1’s highly acclaimed ‘Walk on the Wild Side’.
In 2011 Jason got the gig to host his own comedy variety show ‘Comedy Rocks’ on ITV1, win ‘Born to Shine’ with his amazing operatic skills, host comedy talent show ‘Show Me The Funny’ and host an episode of BBC1’s ‘Live at the Apollo’. His highly anticipated autobiography ‘Brung Up Proper’ was published in September 2011.
He also began hosting a radio breakfast show on XFM Manchester between 2007 and 2008 and in 2009 he hosted ‘Jason Manford and Friends’ on BBC Radio 2, which brought the best comedians from over 750 acts at that years Edinburgh Fringe to Radio 2 listeners. 2011 saw Manford cover Danny Baker’s 5Live show on the August Bank Holiday Weekend, with sidekick and friend Justin Moorhouse while more recently he’s been busy on the road and on our TV screens.