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Jason Manford

Jason Manford

Date Of Birth: 26/05/1981

Manford started his comedy career by winning the North West comedian of the year title in 1999. A year later, he won the Leicester Mercury comedian of the year, and was a finalist in the So You Think You're Funny? new act competition.

He made his Edinburgh Fringe debut in 2005 with Urban Legend, a show that was nominated for the main Perrier award. The following year he won the Chortle award for best breakthrough act.

He embarked on his first solo tour of the UK in September 2008, a month after hosting the topical Channel 4 show Tonightly

He became increasingly well-known thanks to his role on the Channel 4 panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats, and in 2010 hosted the high-profile Comedy Rocks for ITV. In May 2010 he was confirmed as the new co-host of BBC One's The One Show.

Jason Manford Videos


Jason Manford at Latitude

Jason Manford at Latitude

When it comes to bookings, Latitude seeks the alternative, credible bands – but on comedy its tastes are notably more mainstream, with Jason Manford closing the tent for the weekend. What next? One Direction closing the main Obelisk Arena?

‘I am the least offensive comic going,’ he says before regaling the time even he attracted complaints to The One Show with a silly joke about the woman who put a cat in a wheelie bin. What he did on the telly was funny, though his preamble joke about putting it in the wrong sort of bin might have been past its tell-by date in the week the story broke…

The audience here don’t care, though. They also applaud a fairly standard bit of banter with the audience and he gets a great response to a line long used by the shipbuilders of Belfast about their handiwork on the Titanic. This he tells via an exchange with a heckler in Northern Ireland; since anecdotes from other gigs are a mainstay of his act. With 17 years in the business he has enough of them, but nothing is quite as funny as him playing Camp Bastion, when he becomes the hapless civilian well out of his comfort zone.

The other main strand of his hour-long set is bringing up his kids, apt enough for this family-friendly festival. His struggles to maintain discipline and his daughters’ fast-developing sense of humour are certainly high-yield topics, generating plenty of laughs. It’s clear this is genuinely drawn from a life that’s so dominated by Fireman Sam that he treats on scene as if it’s an animated Zapruder film, revealing a conspiracy that might rock the denizens of Pontypandy.

Authenticity is what makes most comedians, and that’s especially true of Manford who always comes across as a chipper man of the people, just joshing with the audience. He’s that rarity of being the ‘funny one’ among his mates who’s been able to translate that into a hugely successful career. His closing routine is based on a tale a fan came up and told him – as Manford is surely the sort of comic blokes want to share their tales with. Normally being told ‘here’s one for you…’ is anathema for stand-ups, but this generated a great story, which is retold expertly here.

He hasn’t been to Latitude for nine years, and hasn’t played any other outdoor festivals in the meantime, but it’s not for want of appreciation. The audience here love him, no matter what his level of cool.

Monday 20th Jul, '15
Steve Bennett



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