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Jason Manford: I don’t surround myself with sycophants the audience will tell me if I’m not funny

After winning critical acclaim for his acting in BBC drama Ordinary Lies, Jason Manford, 33, has landed his own topical comedy show on ITV. Here he chats about his return to comedy and coping with baby number five… Q It’s A Funny Old Week is a return to comedy after Ordinary Lies. Is that still where your heart is? A I’m an entertainer, whether that’s acting, presenting, doing stand-up or singing and tap-dancing in The Producers. But stand-up is my first love.

Joel Goodman

Hit show:

Jason Manford here">Jason Manford at The Palace Theatre in Manchester
Q What’s key to making a topical comedy a hit? A You need a few devil’s advocates to make sure you’ve thought everything through before you say it on air. There’s no point surrounding yourself with sycophants who tell you it’s hilarious – you’ll soon find an audience who tells you it’s not. Q The critics were surprised at how good you were as a straight actor in Ordinary Lies. Were you flattered? A I always think it’s funny when people are surprised comedians can act, like that’s not what we’re doing on stage every night. I’m actually surprised more comedians aren’t actors. But I was flattered.

BBC

Big lie: Jason Manford as Marty
Q You became a dad again in January. How are you coping? A Well, I do most of my writing at 4am now, since I’m up anyway! It’s hard in any job to juggle work and family and there are times when I’m away from home that I pine for my children and I’m sure they miss me too. The main thing it’s changed is my planning – I don’t take every job any more. Q Manchester City have fallen short this year and you’re a big fan. Is it time to find something else to keep you entertained at the weekends? A See, I was enjoying this interview and you’ve spoilt it right at the end! We’ll be back next season, bigger and better.



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