One of the most recognisable names in British comedy, Jason Manford is full of likeable charm and teasingly intelligent wit.
Having shot to stardom in 2017 as team Captain on Channel 4’s popular comedy panel show, 8 out of 10 Cats, Jason has since hosted shows such as Big Heads, The Olivier Awards and Sunday Night At The Palladium, and in the process established himself as a staple of British television.
In addition to his own TV comedy specials, he has also performed on Live at the Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show and made several appearances on The Royal Variety Performance.
Jason Manford also hosts a live three hour show on Absolute Radio on Sunday mornings with celebrity guests and his own comedic take on the topics of the week. His show receives huge ratings and is very popular with audiences across the UK.
Jason began his career in 1999 while working at the Buzz Comedy Club in Chorlton, Manchester. He was collecting glasses and, when an act didn't turn up one night, Jason offered to step in and fill the gap. He was only 17, but stepped in and went on to do a very promising set in front of a demanding audience — an event which marked the beginning of his comedy career.
Six gigs later Jason was crowned The City Life North West Comedian of the Year; previously won by Caroline Aherne, Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay.
After winning several smaller awards, Jason Manford was nominated for the Perrier Award in Edinburgh in 2005 for his show Urban Legends. Not limiting his entertainment output to comedy, in 2011 Jason was crowned the winner of Born to Shine showcasing his not-so hidden talent of opera singing.
He has since starred in the musical Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi Theatre in London's West End, as well as the UK tour of The Producers, Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls and The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.
Following his UK tours in 2008 and 2009, stand up sets on Live at the Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and The Royal Variety Performance all helped establish Jason Manford as a household name comic, a position which made him the ideal host of ITV’s reality comedy competition, ‘Show Me The Funny’.
After his opera singing turn saw him emerge the winner on ITV’s Born To Shine, Jason put his new found talent into practice joining Alfie Boe on tour. This was followed by a well-received run in the critically acclaimed hit West End musical Sweeney Todd, starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.
Jason then toured the UK with his ‘First World Problems’ show which took him to all corners of the British Isles which started in May 2013, performing more than a staggering 200 shows.
In the West End, Jason starred in hilarious musical comedy The Producers as timid accountant, Leo Bloom. The show is based on Mel Brooks’ beloved Academy Award winning movie and took Broadway and the West End by storm when it opened in March 2015.
In spring 2015, Jason starred in the BBC One six part drama series Ordinary Lies with co-stars Max Beesley, Michelle Keegan and Mackenzie Crook. For his role as downtrodden car salesman Marty, he was nominated for Best Actor at the Royal Television Society Awards.
In 2017, Jason was nominated for Best Music Presenter at the ARIAS, run by The Radio Academy. In 2018, Jason was nominated in the Funniest Show category at the ARIAS. His Absolute Radio show holds the Sunday morning record for pulling in the most listeners in that slot since Absolute was launched in 2001.
In September 2017, Jason’s Sunday night prime time TV game show, Bigheads won Best TV Game Show at the prestigious Rose d’Or Awards in Berlin. Jason was nominated for Best Entertainment Presenter for Bigheads at the National Television Awards, while the show itself was nominated for The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award.
In 2018 Jason took to the road for his mammoth year-and-a-half long ‘Muddle Class’ UK tour, which explored Jason’s life growing up ‘working class’, then finding that as he’s got older, part of him has become ‘middle class’, causing much confusion!
In May 2020, Jason’s brand-new quiz show Unbeatable launched on BBC One, running for 50 episodes. In the same month, his Absolute Radio show won the bronze Comedy Award at the 2021 Audio and Radio Industry Awards.
In April Jason hosted the ‘Olivier Awards’ at London’s Royal Albert Hall. He previously hosted the UK’s most prestigious stage honours in 2017, 2019 and 2020.
In November 2022 Jason released a charity single, Assembly Bangers, on the Westway Red Label. This brilliantly nostalgic dance track, based on the ‘hits’ that have been sung in school assemblies for many decades, raised funds and awareness for the Trussell Trust’s first ever large-scale emergency appeal to ensure food banks can keep going during winter.
In what spare time he has, Jason runs Manford’s Comedy Club with his brother Colin.