Jason John Manford (born 26 May 1981) is an English comedian, television presenter, radio presenter and actor, best known for being a team captain on the Channel 4 panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats from 2007 until 2010.
He has presented numerous television shows for the BBC and ITV including Comedy Rocks (2010–2011), The One Show (2010), Show Me the Funny (2011) and A Question of Sport: Super Saturday (2014).
Manford was born in Salford, Greater Manchester. His mother, Sharon (née Ryan), is of Irish Catholic extraction, her mother, Nora (née Peate), having been born in Dublin. His father, Ian Manford, is a courtroom stenographer. Jason and his four siblings grew up in a terraced house in what is known as the "Triangle of Death" area of Manchester notorious for its gang activity and high crime rate.
When Manford was seventeen, he got a job as a glass collector at a local pub. 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. Despite not having the required A Level grades, he was accepted into the programme and eventually upgraded to a full degree. Manford's brother, Colin, a University of Salford graduate, followed him into performing and is also a stand-up comedian, based in Manchester.
Television and radio
Manford's first bit-part acting job was on Ideal, 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 until May 2008.
From June to November 2007, Manford was Paramount Comedy's continuity announcer and writer. In June 2007, he took over from Dave Spikey as a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats. 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. He resigned from the programme in November 2010 following allegations surrounding his private life.
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 10 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.
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. On 21 September 2014, Manford guest hosted an episode of Sunday Night at the Palladium. He returned to present another show on 24 May 2015.
Manford played the role of Marty in the 2015 BBC Drama Ordinary Lies. In 2015, he hosted The Money Pit for Dave and It's a Funny Old Week for ITV.
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 The Biggest Night in British Theatre – The Olivier Awards for ITV.
In 2017, he presented a new Sunday-night entertainment series for ITV called Bigheads.
After a successful first UK tour 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.
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. His latest UK tour, named "First World Problems", was performed between June and December 2013.
In late 2013, Manford starred as the voiceover artist for Jet2.com.as well as the voiceover on the Churchill Insurance adverts 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. 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 is currently starring as Caractacus Potts in the UK tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang alongside Phil 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 will continue until the end of the tour in February 2017.
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.
Manford cites Billy Connolly as his comedy hero, after seeing him when Manford was 8, and comics such as Tommy Cooper and Peter Kay heavily influenced his comic style. 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".
Manford married his first wife, Catherine, in October 2007. On 20 August 2009, she gave birth to healthy twin daughters. His wife gave birth to their third daughter in December 2010, and a son in 2012. The family lived in Stockport, Greater Manchester. In May 2013, it was stated that they had split amicably. After 55 hours of labour, Manford's girlfriend, Lucy Dyke, gave birth to a daughter on 8 January 2015 at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester. Manford later revealed that they had donated the umbilical cord and the placenta for stem cell research and blood donation.
On 18 November 2010, Manford resigned as co-host of The One Show to "concentrate on his family" following his admission to a number of allegations published in tabloid newspapers in regards to exchanging sexually-oriented Twitter messages with fans.
Manford is a supporter of Manchester City FC.
In November 2008, Manford became patron of Savebabies, a charity campaigning for newborn screening.
Since April 2014, Manford has been supporting the cancer charity Stephen's Story. Stephen Sutton was a 19-year-old terminally ill cancer patient who set up the initiative to help others battling the disease. All turnover from May 2014 at Manford's comedy clubs was given to Sutton's charity.
- 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 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
- Finalist in the 2000 Channel Four So You Think You're Funny competition at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
- Nominated for the 2001 Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Comedy
- Nominated for the 2005 Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for his debut one-man show Urban Legend
|2000||The Best Manchester Comedy|
|BBC New Comedy Awards|
|2005||Cutting It||Comic||BBC One|
|2005–2006||Richard & Judy||Channel 4|
|2006||100 Greatest Funny Moments|
|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|
|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||2 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|
|The Money Pit||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|
- Would I Lie to You? (14 July 2007, 1 August 2008, 31 August 2009, 30 July 2010, 17 May 2013)
- Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (20 February 2009, 19 February 2010)
- Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow
- Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (2009, 2010)
- Let's Dance for Comic Relief (20 February 2010, 23 February 2013)
- Frank Skinner's Opinionated (14 May 2010)
- The Graham Norton Show (28 June 2010)
- Epic Win (20 August 2011)
- Chris Moyles' Quiz Night (23 November 2011)
- Never Mind the Buzzcocks (19 December 2011, 10 December 2012)
- Sunday Brunch (8 July 2012, 12 May 2013)
- Let's Do Lunch with Gino & Mel (9 July 2012)
- Comedy World Cup (15 September 2012, 20 October 2012, 27 October 2012)
- Celebrity Juice (6 September 2012, 6 December 2012)
- Room 101 (25 January 2013)
- Moving On (1 February 2013)
- The Jonathan Ross Show (23 February 2013)
- The Guess List (26 April 2014)
- Celebrity Fifteen to One (13 June 2014)
- Lip Sync Battle UK (15 February 2016)
- The Great Sport Relief Bake Off (27 January 2016)
- Live at the Manchester Apollo (16 November 2009)
- Live 2011 (14 November 2011)
- First World Problems (10 November 2014)