Jason Manford

Last updated
Jason Manford
Jason Manford comedy masterclass crop.jpg
Born (1981-05-26) 26 May 1981 (age 40)
Alma mater University of Salford
Years active1999–present
Known for
Spouse(s)Catherine (m. 2007; div. 2013)
Lucy Dyke (m. 2017)
Website www.jasonmanford.com OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg (2020)

Jason John Manford [1] (born 26 May 1981) is an English comedian, singer, television presenter, radio presenter and actor.


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) and Bigheads (2017).

He 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 and Curtains.

Early life

Manford was born in Salford, Greater Manchester. [2] His mother, Sharon (née Ryan), is of Irish Catholic extraction, her mother, Nora (née Peate), having been born in Dublin. [3] [1] [4] His father, Ian Manford, is a courtroom stenographer. [2] Jason and his four siblings grew up in a terraced house in the Whalley Range area of south Manchester. [2] [5]

He attended St. Margaret's Primary School, Whalley Range and Chorlton High School, when it was known as Oakwood High School, where he formed a band with two friends, Simon and Neil. His mother later said that this was what got him into singing.

When Manford was younger, he got a job as a glass collector at a local pub. [6] While working there, Manford became interested in comedy after watching the likes of Peter Kay, Eddie Izzard and Johnny Vegas perform at the local comedy club. Kay recommended him to do the Higher National Diploma in media and performance at the University of Salford, a course Kay himself had taken. [7] Despite not having the required A Level grades, Manford was accepted into the programme and eventually upgraded to a full degree. Manford's brother, Colin, also a University of Salford graduate, followed him into performing [8] and is also a stand-up comedian, based in Manchester. [9]



From June to November 2007, Manford was on Ideal, [10] 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 [11] until May 2008. [12]

From June to November 2007, Manford was Paramount Comedy's continuity announcer and writer. [13] In June 2007, he took over from Dave Spikey as a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats . [14] 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.[ citation needed ]

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. [15] He resigned from the programme in November 2010 following allegations surrounding his private life. [16]

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 . [17] On 21 September 2014, Manford guest hosted an episode of Sunday Night at the Palladium . [18] He returned to present another show on 24 May 2015.

Manford played the role of Marty in the 2015 BBC Drama Ordinary Lies . [19] In 2015, he hosted The Money Pit for Dave and It's a Funny Old Week for ITV. [20]

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. [21]

In 2018, he fronted What Would Your Kid Do?, a new series for ITV. [22]

In 2020, Manford came in second place as the Hedgehog on The Masked Singer . [23] Manford hosted The Royal Variety Performance 2020 from the Blackpool Opera House, with performances including; Gary Barlow Mel C, Steps, and Britain’s Got Talent 2020 winner Jon Courtenay. [24]

In May 2021, Manford became the presenter of BBC quiz show Unbeatable. [25]


After a successful first UK tour [26] and high sales of the following DVD, filmed live at the Manchester Apollo, he started his "Turning into My Dad" tour on 14 July 2010. [27]

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 tour "Muddle Class" was touring across the UK, until the end of 2018. His upcoming tour “Like me” will start early September 2020 and finish October 2021. “ [28]


Manford comes from a family of singers and musicians [9] 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 [29] the show and has released an album of show tunes, called A Different Stage.


In late 2013, Manford was the voiceover artist for the Jet2.com[ citation needed ] and Churchill Insurance adverts [30] 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. Pvt. Jammy dies early in the game. [31] 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. [32]

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.


Manford cites Billy Connolly as his comedy hero, [33] after seeing him when Manford was 11, and comics such as Tommy Cooper and Peter Kay heavily influenced his comic style. [6] 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 .

Personal life

Manford married his first wife, Catherine, in October 2007. On 20 August 2009, she gave birth to twin daughters. His wife gave birth to their third daughter in December 2010, and a son in 2012. [34] The family lived in Bramhall, Greater Manchester. [35] In May 2013, it was stated that they had split.[ citation needed ] In 2017 he married his second wife Lucy Dyke with whom he has 2 children.

Manford supported the Labour Party at the 2017 and 2019 general elections.

Manford is a supporter of Manchester City FC. [36]

The Laugh Inn

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 or unannounced shows. The club closed in 2013. [37]


In November 2008, Manford became patron of Savebabies, a charity campaigning for newborn screening. [38]

Since April 2014, Manford has been supporting the cancer charity Stephen's Story. Stephen Sutton was a nineteen-year-old terminally ill cancer patient who set up the initiative to help others battling the disease. [39] All turnover from May 2014 at Manford's comedy clubs was given to Sutton's charity. [40]

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020–21, Manford volunteered in his local community to drive vulnerable people to appointments.






2000The Best Manchester Comedy
BBC New Comedy Awards
2002Gloves Off
2005 Cutting It Comic BBC One
Gideon's Daughter Comic
Ideal Jack BBC Three
2005–2006 Richard & Judy Channel 4
2006100 Greatest Funny Moments
Modern Worries
Premier League All Stars Extra Time Presenter Sky3
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 Presenter1 series
2009 As Seen on TV Team captain BBC One 1 series
2009–2010 Walk on the Wild Side Various characters
2010–2011Comedy Rocks with Jason ManfordPresenter 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 comic2 episodes
2011 Born to Shine ContestantSeries winner
Show Me the Funny Presenter1 series
2012–2014A Funny Old YearPresenter
2012— QI Regular panellist BBC Two
2014Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like ThisKen 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 [41] Presenter Dave
It's a Funny Old WeekPresenter ITV 1 series
2017 The Nightly Show Guest presenter5 episodes
The Biggest Night in British Theatre – The Olivier Awards Presenter
Bigheads Presenter1 series
Benidorm Andre1 episode
2017-present Daisy & Ollie Daisy's Daddy Cartoonito
Channel 5
Voice role
104 episodes (4 series)
2017 Twirlywoos Tennis player CBeebies 1 episode
2018What Would Your Kid Do?Presenter ITV 2 series (12 episodes)
2019 Scarborough Mike BBC One 1 series
2020First & LastPresenter BBC One 1 series (6 episodes)
The Masked Singer Hedgehog (contestant) ITV 1 series (6 episodes)
2021UnbeatableHost BBC One Quiz show (50 episodes) [42]
Murder, They HopeFreddie Gold Episode 3: "Dales of the Unexpected"
Death in Paradise Craig Mackenzie BBC One Series 10 Episode 3

Musical theatre

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 CioffiUK and Ireland tour and Wyndham's Theatre, London

Stand-up DVDs


Studio albums

TitleDetailsPeak chart positions
A Different Stage
  • Released: 6 October 2017
  • Label: Decca Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download


TitleYearPeak chart positions
"Bring Me Sunshine"
Michael Ball & Alfie Boe with the Rays of Sunshine Children's Choir & Friends [45]

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  2. 1 2 3 Meet Jason Manford – he's The One to make Christine Bleakley laugh Mirror, 29 May 2010
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  7. "Jason Manford: Interview". Time Out. 15 January 2009.
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  9. 1 2 Shadow: Colin Manford, mancunianmatters.co.uk, 30 June 2010; retrieved 24 April 2014.
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  13. Comedy.co.uk Richard Herring's Edinburgh fringe Podcast 26 August 2013
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Preceded by
Adrian Chiles
Co-host of The One Show (Monday-Thursday)
Succeeded by
Matt Baker