Jason Manford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jason Manford
Manford in January 2013
Jason John Manford

(1981-05-26) 26 May 1981 (age 42)
Salford, England
  • Comedian
  • presenter
  • actor
  • singer
Years active1999–present
Catherine Manford
(m. 2007; div. 2013)
Lucy Dyke
(m. 2017)

Jason John Manford (born 26 May 1981) is an English comedian, presenter, actor and singer.

Manford was a team captain on the Channel 4 panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats from 2007 until 2010 and has presented numerous television shows for the BBC and ITV including Comedy Rocks (2010–2011), The One Show (2010), Show Me the Funny (2011), A Question of Sport: Super Saturday (2014), Bigheads (2017) and Children In Need (2022), and is one of four judges on ITV's Starstruck (2022).

Manford has starred in numerous stage musicals in the West End and across the UK such as Sweeney Todd, The Producers, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Guys and Dolls, Curtains and The Wizard of Oz.

Early life[edit]

Jason John Manford was born in Salford on 26 May 1981, the son of Sharon (née Ryan)[1] and courtroom stenographer and trade union shop steward in the NHS Ian Manford.[2][3] His maternal grandmother, Nora (née Peate), was an Irish Catholic from Dublin.[4][5] Manford and his four siblings grew up in a terraced house in the Whalley Range area of Manchester.[2][6] He attended St Margaret's Primary School in Whalley Range, and later Chorlton High School (at the time known as Oakwood High School). He formed a band in school with two friends, Simon and Neil, with his mother later saying that this was what got him into singing.

During a Twitter exchange in which Manford defended strike action undertaken by British Railway workers in the ASLEF trade union, Manford recalled the various workplaces he had worked in before his current career including building sites, call centres, shops, bars, warehouses and offices, stating "I didn't just leave school and say 'right, I'm off to play the arena!'".[3] While working as a glass collector at a local pub,[7] Manford became interested in comedy after watching the likes of Eddie Izzard, Peter Kay and Johnny Vegas perform at the local comedy club. Kay recommended him to undertake an HND in media and performance at the University of Salford, which Kay himself had done.[8] Despite not having the required A-level grades, he was accepted into the programme and eventually upgraded to a full degree. His brother Colin, also a University of Salford graduate, followed him into performing[9] and is also a stand-up comedian.[10]



From June to November 2007, Manford was on Ideal,[11] where he had a small part as Jack, who had been dumped and cheated on by his girlfriend with 'little Darren', 'big Darren' and 'flu-strength Darren'. He later made another appearance in episode five of that series. He hosted a breakfast show on Xfm Manchester[12] until May 2008.[13]

From June to November 2007, Manford was Paramount Comedy's continuity announcer and writer.[14] In June 2007, he took over from Dave Spikey as a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats.[15] He presented his own show, Tonightly, which aired every weekday from 1 to 22 August 2008 and appeared as a celebrity supporter for inventor Kin Kam in a special charity edition of BBC Two's Dragons' Den for Sport Relief.

In March 2010, Manford was announced as host of a new comedy show called Comedy Rocks, featuring stand-up comedians and musical performances. A pilot was shown on ITV on 26 March 2010 and a full series began on the channel on 14 January 2011. On 26 May 2010, Manford was announced as the new presenter of BBC One's The One Show from July 2010.[16] He resigned from the programme in November 2010 following allegations surrounding his private life.[17]

He also made up one half of the Home Team with Peter Andre on the ITV game show Odd One In. In July 2011, Manford presented Show Me The Funny, a reality show on ITV involving ten comedians in which one is voted off each week. In 2013, Manford hosted three pilots: Good News, Bad News and Oh! What a Week for ITV, and You and Whose Army? for Sky1. None of them have yet been commissioned for a full series. He wrote and presented A Funny Old Year which was broadcast on ITV on New Year's Eve in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The show saw Manford take a look back over the past year's humorous events.[citation needed]

Since 21 June 2014, Manford has hosted a BBC One show called A Question of Sport: Super Saturday, a spin-off from BBC panel show A Question of Sport.[18] On 21 September 2014, Manford guest hosted an episode of Sunday Night at the Palladium.[19] He returned to present another show on 24 May 2015.

Manford played the role of Marty in the 2015 BBC Drama Ordinary Lies.[20] In 2015, he hosted The Money Pit for Dave and It's a Funny Old Week for ITV.[21]

In 2016, Manford joined Absolute Radio as their new Sunday morning show presenter.

In April 2017, Manford guest presented five episodes of The Nightly Show. He also presented the 2017 Laurence Olivier Awards for ITV, before returning to present the ceremony in 2019 and 2020.

In 2017, he presented a new Sunday-night entertainment series for ITV called Bigheads.

Since 2017, he has been the voice of Daisy's dad in a CHF Entertainment cartoon called Daisy & Ollie. He also writes some of the episodes for it.[22]

In 2018, he fronted What Would Your Kid Do?, a new series for ITV.[23]

In 2020, Manford came in second place as the Hedgehog on The Masked Singer.[24] Manford hosted The Royal Variety Performance 2020 from the Blackpool Opera House, with performances including Gary Barlow, Melanie C, Steps and Britain's Got Talent 2020 winner Jon Courtenay.[25]

In May 2021, Manford became the presenter of BBC quiz show Unbeatable.[26]

In February 2022, Manford appeared on the final of the Masked Singer third series masked as Hedgehog performing a duet with winner Natalie Imbruglia masked as Panda.

In November 2022, Manford presented Children In Need alongside Mel Giedroyc, Ade Adepitan , Alex Scott and Chris Ramsey.


After a successful first UK tour[27] and high sales of the following DVD, filmed live at the Manchester Apollo, he began his "Turning into My Dad" tour on 14 July 2010.[28]

In March 2010, Manford took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show held in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, filmed live at the O2 Arena in London on 30 March.[citation needed] He toured the UK with "First World Problems", between June and December 2013 and produced a DVD of the same name. His show "Muddle Class" was toured across the UK until the end of 2018. His tour "Like me" began in early September 2020 and will finish in October 2021.[29]

In 2011, Manford became one of the shareholders of the Chester-based comedy club The Laugh Inn. He frequented the club to see shows and support the circuit comedians, as well as performing impromptu shows. The club closed in 2013.[30]


Manford comes from a family of singers and musicians[10] and sang regularly with them. In the TV competition Born to Shine in 2011, he was taught daily to sing in an operatic style; he went on to win[31] the show, and has released an album of show tunes, titled A Different Stage.

On 25 November 2022, Manford released the single "Assembly Bangers", a song he had been closing his standup show with. The track, a medley of songs nostalgically associated with school assemblies including "This Little Light of Mine", "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" and "Lord of the Dance", will donate all profits to the Trussell Trust's Emergency Fund Appeal.[32][33] The single charted at number two on the UK Official Singles Sales Chart on 2 December 2022.[34]

On 16 December 2022, Manford released Assembly Bangers: The Album with Chris Sutherland,[35] with the "Christmas Assembly Bangers" single being released on the same day. Again, all proceeds were donated to the Trussell Trust.[36]


In late 2013, Manford was the voiceover artist for the Jet2.com[citation needed] and Churchill Insurance adverts[37] and is one of the voices in the BBC comedy sketch show Walk on the Wild Side. He appeared in series four of Channel 4's Shameless as a security guard who is seduced by Karen Maguire. In July 2012, Manford took over the role of Pirelli for a month (followed by a few dates in August) in the London revival of musical Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi Theatre opposite Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.

Manford has a minor voice role in the Xbox 360 video game Fable III, playing Jammy, who teaches the player how to use mortars.[38] He had a role in the BBC Three series Ideal and starred in an episode of BBC One's Moving On. In 2015, Manford played the role of Marty in the BBC One drama series Ordinary Lies, starring alongside Michelle Keegan, Max Beesley and Sally Lindsay. He also played the medium Alexander Le Cheyne in Episode 3 of Series 3 of Ripper Street. In 2015, Manford starred in his second musical as Leo Bloom in the 2015 UK tour of Mel Brooks' The Producers opposite Louie Spence, Phill Jupitus and Ross Noble.

He played Caractacus Potts in the UK tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang alongside Phill Jupitus, Michelle Collins, Martin Kemp, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Claire Sweeney. He toured with the production from February to April 2016, before the role was played by Lee Mead. Manford returned to the role in October 2016 and continued until the end of the tour in February 2017.

In 2019, he starred in Curtains, a musical whodunnit by Fred Ebb and John Kander, which toured the UK. It moved to the Wyndham's Theatre in London's West End mid-December until mid-January 2020, after which it began a further UK tour.[39]

In December 2020 he was due to make his pantomime debut as Muddles in Sleeping Beauty at the Manchester Opera House alongside Billy Pearce, Jodie Prenger, Eric Potts and Louis Gaunt, however, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the government's guidelines the performances were cancelled. He eventually made his panto debut in December 2022 at the Opera House as Captain Hook in Peter Pan alongside Ben Nickless, where he closed each performance by singing "Assembly Bangers".

Manford is starring as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz from June to September 2023 at the London Palladium with Ashley Banjo as the Tin Man.[40] He will also return to Pantomime at the Manchester Opera House in December 2023 to star in the title role of Jack and the Beanstalk opposite Ben Nickless who also returns.


Manford cites Billy Connolly as his comedy hero,[41] after seeing him when Manford was 11, and comics such as Tommy Cooper and Peter Kay heavily influenced his comic style.[7] In 2009, in an interview on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, Manford talked about his passion for musicals, expressing an interest in taking a singing and acting role on stage, and giving a short, impromptu performance of "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop of Horrors.


In November 2008, Manford became patron of Savebabies, a charity campaigning for newborn screening.[42]

In April 2014, Manford became a supporter of the cancer charity Stephen's Story. It was set up by Stephen Sutton MBE, a 19-year-old blogger with terminal colorectal cancer who set up the initiative to help others battling cancer.[43] All profits made by Manford's comedy clubs during May 2014, the month of Sutton's death, were given to the charity.[44]

Personal life[edit]

Manford married his first wife, Catherine, in October 2007. They had four children together before separating in 2013: twin daughters born on 20 August 2009, a third daughter born in December 2010, and a son born in 2012.[45] The family lived in Bramhall.[46] He married his second wife, Lucy Dyke, in 2017; they have two children together.

Manford is a supporter of Manchester City FC.[47]



  • Winner of the 1999 North West City Life Comedian of the Year
  • Winner of the 2000 Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year
  • Winner of the 2005 Writers Guild of Great Britain and The List's Best Comedy Newcomer for his debut Edinburgh show Urban Legend
  • Winner of the 2006 Chortle Award for Best Breakthrough Act
  • Winner of the 2006 North West Comedy Awards category for Best Stand up on the North West Circuit



Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
A Different Stage
  • Released: 6 October 2017
  • Label: Decca Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Assembly Bangers: The Album
(with Chris Sutherland)
  • Released: 16 December 2022
  • Label:
  • Formats: Digital download; streaming


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions
UK Sales
"Assembly Bangers" 2022 2
"Christmas Assembly Bangers"
(with Chris Sutherland)

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions
"Bring Me Sunshine"
Michael Ball & Alfie Boe with the Rays of Sunshine Children's Choir & Friends[49]



Year Title Role Channel Notes
2000 The Best Manchester Comedy
BBC New Comedy Awards
2002 Gloves Off
2005 Cutting It Comic BBC One
Gideon's Daughter Comic
Ideal Jack BBC Three
2005–2006 Richard & Judy Channel 4
2006 100 Greatest Funny Moments
Modern Worries
2007 Shuffle
Premier League All Stars Extra Time Presenter Sky1
Shameless Security guard Channel 4
2007–2014 Live at the Apollo Featured comic/presenter BBC One 5 episodes
2007–2010 8 Out of 10 Cats Team captain Channel 4 6 series
2008 Tonightly Presenter 1 series
2009 As Seen on TV Team captain BBC One 1 series
2009–2010 Walk on the Wild Side Various characters
2010–2011 Comedy Rocks with Jason Manford Presenter ITV 1 series
2010 The One Show Co-presenter BBC One With Alex Jones
2010–2011 Odd One In Team captain ITV 2 series
2010–2011 The Comedy Annual Featured comic 2 episodes
2011 Born to Shine Contestant Series winner
Show Me the Funny Presenter 1 series
2012–2014 A Funny Old Year Presenter
2012– QI Regular panellist BBC Two
2014 Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This Ken Brooke ITV One-off TV film
A Question of Sport: Super Saturday Presenter BBC One 1 series
2014, 2015 Sunday Night at the Palladium Presenter ITV 2 episodes
2015 Ordinary Lies Marty BBC One 1 series
Money Pit[50] Presenter Dave
It's a Funny Old Week Presenter ITV 1 series
2017 The Nightly Show Guest presenter 5 episodes
The Biggest Night in British Theatre – The Olivier Awards Presenter
Bigheads Presenter 1 series
Benidorm Andre 1 episode
2017–present Daisy & Ollie Daisy's Daddy Cartoonito
Channel 5
Voice role
104 episodes (4 series)
2017 Twirlywoos Tennis player CBeebies 1 episode
2018 What Would Your Kid Do? Presenter ITV 2 series (12 episodes)
2019 Scarborough Mike BBC One 1 series
2020 First & Last Presenter BBC One 1 series (6 episodes)
2020-2022 The Masked Singer Hedgehog (contestant) ITV 1 series (6 episodes)
2021 Unbeatable Host BBC One Quiz show (95 episodes)[51]
Murder, They Hope Freddie Gold Episode 3: "Dales of the Unexpected"
Death in Paradise Craig Mackenzie BBC One Series 10 Episode 3
The Wheel Himself/celebrity expert BBC One Christmas special[52]
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown: Christmas Special 2021 Himself/contestant Channel 4 Christmas special[53]
2022 Jason Manford's Funniest Ever TV Adverts Himself/presenter Channel 5 TV series (a.k.a World's Funniest TV Ads with Jason Manford)[54]
Big Night of Musicals by the National Lottery Himself/presenter BBC One TV special[55]
Starstruck Judge ITV 2 series
The Olivier Awards 2022 Host ITV [56]
The National Lottery's Big Jubilee Street Party Co-host ITV With Fleur East[57]
Children in Need Co-presenter BBC One With Ade Adepitan, Mel Giedroyc,
Chris Ramsey & Alex Scott[58]
Freddie & Jason: Two Men in a Tent Himself ITV With Freddie Flintoff[59]
Britain Get Singing Judge With judges Alesha Dixon, Adam Lambert and Will.i.am and host Roman Kemp[60]
The National Lottery’s New Year's Eve Big Bash Co-presenter With Alesha Dixon[61]
2023 Eurovision Calling: Jason and Chelcee’s Ultimate Guide Co-presenter BBC One With Chelcee Grimes[62]

Musical theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Venue
2012 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Adolfo Pirelli Adelphi Theatre, London
2015 The Producers Leo Bloom UK and Ireland tour
2016 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Caractacus Potts UK and Ireland tour
2018 Guys and Dolls Nathan Detroit Royal Albert Hall, London
2019 Curtains Frank Cioffi UK and Ireland tour

Wyndham's Theatre, London

2022 Peter Pan Captain Hook Manchester Opera House
2023 The Wizard of Oz The Cowardly Lion / Zeke London Palladium
Jack and the Beanstalk Jack Manchester Opera House
2024 The Wizard of Oz The Cowardly Lion / Zeke Palace Theatre, Manchester

Stand-up DVDs[edit]

  • Live at the Manchester Apollo (16 November 2009)
  • Live 2011 (14 November 2011)
  • First World Problems (10 November 2014)[63]


  1. ^ Laws, Roz (14 August 2010). "7 things you never knew about Jason Manford". BirminghamLive.
  2. ^ a b Fletcher, Damien (28 May 2010). "Meet Jason Manford - he's The One to make Christine Bleakley laugh". mirror.
  3. ^ a b @JasonManford (6 October 2022). "... my dad was union leader and shop steward in the NHS for decades ..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ Jason Manford, Brung Up Proper: My Autobiography (2012), p. 23
  5. ^ Interview, The Graham Norton Show, 28 June 2010.
  6. ^ "This much I know: Jason Manford". The Guardian. 20 November 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Jason Manford: How Peter Kay got me into Salford University". Manchester Evening News. 27 September 2011. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Jason Manford: Interview". Time Out. 15 January 2009. Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  9. ^ "Colin Manford to follow in the footsteps of famous brother Jason". 12 November 2011. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  10. ^ a b Shadow: Colin Manford, mancunianmatters.co.uk, 30 June 2010; retrieved 24 April 2014.
  11. ^ "BBC Three - Ideal, Series 1, The Boyfriend". BBC. 1 October 2006. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  12. ^ Jason Manford Archived 24 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine Xfm, 24 December 2006
  13. ^ Mike McClean to take over from Jason Manford at Xfm Archived 6 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine How-Do, 6 May 2008
  14. ^ Comedy.co.uk Richard Herring's Edinburgh fringe Podcast 26 August 2013
  15. ^ Jason Manford: 10 things you need to know about the man tipped as the new One Show host, Mirror.co.uk, 21 May 2010.
  16. ^ "Comic Jason Manford named One Show host". BBC News. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  17. ^ "Jason Manford quits The One Show". BBC News. 19 November 2010.
  18. ^ Guide, British Comedy (14 May 2014). "Jason Manford to host 'A Question of Sport: Super Saturday'". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Sunday Night at the Palladium Episode 2". Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  20. ^ Ordinary Lies
  21. ^ "Jason Manford to host ITV topical show". Digital Spy. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  22. ^ "Jason Manford creates his own kids' cartoon". Chortle. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  23. ^ "What Would Your Kid Do? ITV announce new show fronted by Jason Manford". Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  24. ^ Fitzpatrick, Katie (15 February 2020). "Jason Manford revealed as Hedgehog on The Masked Singer as winner is crowned". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  25. ^ "When is The Royal Variety Performance 2020 on? Host, line-up, air date, venue". radiotimes.com. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  26. ^ "Unbeatable". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
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  28. ^ Jason Manford rocks the comedy circuit Wales Online, 16 March 2010.
  29. ^ "Jason Manford". Ents24. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  30. ^ "Fitness Equipment for Professionals - TLI.co.uk". thelaughinnchester.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 September 2018. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  31. ^ "Jason Manford wins Born to Shine". Chortle. 21 August 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  32. ^ Bedigan, Mike (24 November 2022). "New Jason Manford school assembly-themed single to raise funds for UK food banks". Evening Standard. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  33. ^ "Jason Manford - Assembly Bangers". 25 November 2022. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100. 02 December 2022 - 08 December 2022". Official Charts Company. 2 December 2022. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  35. ^ "Assembly Bangers The Album". Apple Music. 16 December 2022. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  36. ^ "Hey! Released another track this morning #ChristmasAssemblyBangers as well as a full album of #AssemblyBangers, all proceeds go to TrussellTrust". Twitter. 16 December 2022. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  37. ^ Jason Manford: "I've always been a smart arse. Now I'm a professional one" Sunday Mirror, 15 August 2010
  38. ^ "Microsoft.com". Microsoft. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  39. ^ Mayo, Douglas (1 November 2019). "Curtains the musical to premiere at Wyndham's Theatre this Xmas". britishtheatre.com. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  40. ^ Thomas, Sophie (23 February 2023). "Jason Manford and Ashley Banjo to star in 'The Wizard of Oz'". London Theatre. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  41. ^ "Jason Manford". The List. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  42. ^ Jason Manford: How Jason became the man Chester Chronicle, 20 July 2009.
  43. ^ Nicole Le Marie (24 April 2014). "Stephen's Story: Jason Manford's £2m aim for Stephen Sutton fundraising appeal | Metro News". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  44. ^ "Jason Manford – I have a few comedy clubs dotted around..." Facebook. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  45. ^ "Jason Manford Tour". express.co.uk.
  46. ^ "One Show spot for Jason Manford". Manchester Evening News. M.E.N. Media. 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 6 June 2010.
  47. ^ "Jason Manford's big 5". mcfc.co.uk. 28 March 2010. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  48. ^ "Tokio Myers | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  49. ^ "Christmas Number 1: Ed Sheeran, Eminem and Wham! go head to head after 24 hours". OfficialCharts.com. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  50. ^ "Jason Manford is fronting a new Dave show". Digital Spy. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  51. ^ "Jason Manford to host new quiz Unbeatable for BBC One Daytime". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  52. ^ "The Wheel Christmas Special". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  53. ^ "8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown: Christmas Special 2021". channel4.com. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  54. ^ "Jason Manford's Funniest Ever TV Adverts". imdb.com. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  55. ^ "Big Night of Musicals by the National Lottery". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  56. ^ "The Olivier Awards 2022". itv.com/presscentre. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  57. ^ "The National Lottery's Big Jubilee Street Party". national-lottery.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  58. ^ "BBC Children in Need's 2022 Appeal raises £35million". bbcchildreninneed. 21 November 2022. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  59. ^ "Freddie & Jason: Two Men in a Tent". itv.com/presscentre. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  60. ^ "ITV unveils Christmas celebrity singing contest to support mental health with 'Britain Get Singing'". uk.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  61. ^ "The National Lottery's New Year's Eve Big Bash". itv.com/presscentre. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  62. ^ "Jason Manford, Chelcee Grimes and Fleur East to present special Eurovision Song Contest BBC shows". bbc.co.uk/mediacentre. Retrieved 12 April 2023.
  63. ^ "Jason Manford: First World Problems [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 14 April 2013.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Co-host of The One Show (Monday-Thursday)
Succeeded by