Jason Manford Moving On... to daytime telly

Directed by Johnny Vegas

Johnny Vegas might not be the first person you think of when it comes to daytime TV – but the raucous stand-up has directed a host of familiar comedy faces in a new afternoon drama.

The cast of the Moving On TV play That's Amore is led by Jason Manford, whose plays a husband whose wife suddenly announces she wants to end their stuck-in-a-rut marriage.

Rebekah Staton, from Spy and Pulling, plays the wife, while the 45-minute drama also features Emma Fryer, who co-starred with Vegas in Ideal, Sharon Gavin, from sketch duo Gavin & Gavin, and Peter Slater, who made the 2008 Channel 4 Comedy Lab pilot Slaterwood.

The play, which airs on BBC One at 2.15pm this Friday, is the latest in a series of acting roles for Manford, who made his own Little Cracker for Sky1 at Christmas, and last year appeared in the West End production of Sweeney Todd.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast today, Vegas said: ‘We wanted someone who could play the comic touches but bring out the dramatic elements when needed. He absolutely shines in it. It’s going to be a really surprising performance for people who think of him from the entertainment side.

’But I love bringing in people like that, and you find out that there’s a lot of comedians who are really good actors but never get the opportunity.’

Vegas is increasingly turning his hand to directing. He made a Little Cracker in 2011, and is behind the forthcoming Sky Arts short Ragged. The film, part of the Playhouse Presents strand, is based on Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson’s life-changing encounter with the book The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists after he was convicted for ‘conspiracy to intimidate' while on the picket lines in the Seventies.

Published: 28 Jan 2013

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