Jason Manford set for 2011 Scottish tour
UK comic on burger chains, not drinking and Bette Midler's heavies
1. At the age of 17, Manford worked at one of those fast food burger chain places for a whole weekend, walking out when he was told he couldn’t have cheese on his burger during a break. He claims to have weighed around 16st at the time and really wanted that cheese.
2. He got his big break in stand-up while collecting empty glasses every Thursday night at Manchester’s Buzz Club. When a car-load of London-based comics broke down, the 17-year-old Jason offered to help out with the immortal line: ‘I’ll have a go.’ So successful was his regional humour and observational jokes that a somewhat relieved manager wanted him to stay on, but Manford had run out of material.
3. A keen drama student at school, he appeared in the first series of Ideal and briefly played a stand-up comic in the Stephen Poliakoff drama Gideon’s Daughter. The set designer asked Manford what a stand-up stage usually looks like. He mentioned a stool, a mic, a comedian and maybe a logo in the background. To this mix they added, obviously, a big bowl of jellybeans.
4. He claims to have been drunk two or three times in his life. One of which involved him shouting at the actor who played Les Battersby in Coronation Street, demanding that he treated Janice better.
5. He was once threatened by Bette Midler’s heavies when asking to innocently pose for a picture with her at a Royal Variety Performance. ‘Are you fucking serious?’ was her response while her ‘people’ told wee Jase to leave the fading celebrity alone.
Playhouse, Edinburgh, Tue 22 & Wed 23 Feb.