If ever there was a MAN who is in high demand then it has to be this MAN (Ford). He is a writer, comedian, actor, radio and television presenter, seriously, is there nothing this bloke can’t do. We are of course talking about the incredibly talented JASON MANFORD. He is getting ready for one massive tour next year and we’ll get to see him play one of the 99 dates right here. Actually, make that twice in 2021.
We reckon it’s Jason’s versatility that keep him so busy. He began his career back in 1999 when he was working at the Buzz Comedy Club upstairs at the Southern Hotel in Chorlton, Manchester. At the time he was collecting glasses, great job for a teenage boy. 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. Unbelievably, only six gigs later he was crowned The City Life North West Comedian of the Year. So I guess you really can be born with funny bones.
His inspiration is about as good as it gets. He cites Billy Connolly as the first comedian he saw when he was 9 years old, and as the very first motivation 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 him, 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. He then went on to serve his apprenticeship, playing the comedy clubs of the UK, including the Comedy Store and Jongleurs and did many gigs abroad as far a field as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and China.
As soon as his face found its way onto the box, his career was well and truly set. His first major television appearance was when he was a guest on the Channel 4 panel show, 8 out of 10 cats, with Jimmy Carr, he was on Dave Spikey’s team alongside Piers Morgan, and would later go on to replace Dave Spikey as Team Captain in 2007 and continued in the role until 2011.
And now comes the variety in Jason’s career, quite literally. He’s 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 given his voice to BBC1’s highly acclaimed ‘Walk on the Wild Side’.
Jason hosted 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’ to name but a few TV projects and his highly anticipated autobiography ‘Brung Up Proper’ was published in September 2011.
I just want to go back to one of those – ITV’s Charity Talent Show, Born To Shine. I remember watching it when it first went out. The format was simple, but very different. Each celebrity taking part had been mentored by a different teenager, with actor Nick Moran learning piano, Emmerdale actors Tony Audenshaw and Lesley Dunlop jiving, Tracy-Ann Oberman folk-singing and rugby player Gareth Thomas playing the harp.
Jason sang Maria and Brindisi (The Drinking Song) alongside 14-year-old chorister George Clark, who had mentored him for the show. The pair triumphed in the 90-minute live final, which also acted as a telethon for Save The Children. The event raised an estimated £1.3 million after the government promised to match donations made by viewers.
Here’s Jason talking about his experience on that life-changing show.
He’s slotted a very busy singing career in around his comedy and presenting over the years. Before Ball & Boe it was actually Manford & Boe. The pair went out on an opera themed tour back in 2011. He’s been in musical theatre, released a fantastic album and here at SOUTH WALES LIFE we are very excited as he’ll be hosting the Olivier Awards again this year. We were there last year and Jason was really good.
Of course, we couldn’t let this pass by without a mention for this. He recently was unmasked in ITV’s slightly strange, but highly addictive show The Masked Singer. Jason was runner-up on the first series as Hedgehog, with Nicola Roberts beating him.
So let’s get onto the reason we’re here, Jason’s tour. It’s been a busy few years since his last smash-hit stand-up show, but fans of his Absolute Radio show will know this nationally acclaimed comedian hasn’t changed a bit.
‘Like Me’ is Jason’s latest comic offering, set to hit the road for a massive 99 date UK & Ireland tour, kicking off in Basingstoke on 3 February 2021 and culminating with a huge homecoming show at the Manchester Arena on 23 October 2021.
Jason told us……..
“After the fun we had on my last tour ‘Muddle Class’, I’m excited to get back on the road with my new stand-up show ‘Like Me’. In these trying times, it’s always important to be able to get away for a couple of hours and exercise the old chuckle muscle! So, I’m coming to a venue near you in 2021, so we can have a good laugh together. See you then!”
Jason brings his LIKE ME tour to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on 16th October 2021. You can call the Arena for tickets, when they go on sale 02920-224488. Tickets are priced £30 to £35. They go on general sale this Friday at 10am. Pre-sale however is at 10am on Wednesday. You can get yours right re. JASON
He’s also playing St David’s Hall in Cardiff on Saturday 6th February 2021.
Here’s a look at the 2021 tour Man-Map…….
Jason is also playing a bunch of warm-up dates for the tour. They’re not on sale yet and they don’t actually bring him here. If you’ve never been to a warm up before, they are great to see and then catch the proper tour later. You can check out those dates and venues and see what Jason is up to right now, here. MANFORD