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.

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Jason Manford opens up about anxiety and depression

'felt like I couldn't do my job any more'

Jason Manford has opened up about his battle with anxiety and depression in a candid online video.

The comic said he had been 'struggling mentally' and finding life difficult to deal with following a physical health scare earlier in the year. But he stopped short of calling his issues a 'breakdown'.

Manford said he decided to speak out after fans were asking why he had been so quiet on social media – but also advised other men to discuss their own mental health.

In February, the 37-year-old father of five shared a photograph from a hospital bed following a procedure, although he has not disclosed the nature of his problems.

On the video posted yesterday, he explained: 'At the beginning of the year I had a bit of a health scare and, I wouldn't go as far to say I had a breakdown, but I had a struggle mentally and I found it very difficult to deal with.

'When I was at my worst and my lowest and I felt like I'd let my kids down and felt like I couldn't do my job any more, I suffer from anxiety and depression - and they're not traditional comedy subjects for a comedian to talk about - but I do and it's really hard, really hard sometimes.

'Then I feel stupid because I think, "how dare you with your lovely life, Jason, and your lovely kids and lovely wife and your parents are still alive, and all these things to be grateful for, how dare you feel bad about your life",

He admitted he'd been 'struggling' but added: 'Somebody said to me "just because you're struggling doesn't mean you're failing". Think about that for a second, they're two different things.

'So I think if I can say that to you here on social media to hundreds and thousands of people then the next time you're struggling maybe say it to someone you love. We don't talk about mental health a lot, especially us blokes.'

He also explained that he had been off social media as he didn't find it helpful to his mental state, adding that he was 'not just talking about trolls and people being nasty' but the constant 'comparing your life' to others.

The comic said he was also promoted to speak out after the suicide of Love Island star Mike Thalassitis.

Manford took a break from touring after his medical procedure, and he will next be seen alongside Catherine Tyldesley and Claire Sweeney in the six-part BBC series Scarborough, written by Benidorm's Derren Litten, later this year.

• If you need someone to talk to, the Samaritans are on 116 123. Calls are free.

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Published: 8 May 2019

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