Comedy comeback is a classy occasion
Jason Manford is a multi-talented man; equally gifted as a TV and radio presenter, singer, actor, and musicals star.
But this weekend, he returns to Blackpool with his first love - stand-up comedy and his Muddle Class tour.
“Out of everything I do, stand-up is the job I love most,” he said. “It’s great to be returning to the freedom of being in charge of what I say and do. It’s just lovely to be back!”
With an extensive TV CV including 8 out of 10 Cats, The Nightly Show, Sunday Night at the Palladium and Bigheads, live stand-up still holds a special place in his affections.
“What I love about live comedy,” Jason says, “is that it’s different from everything else I do – TV, theatre, musicals, and music. Each night is completely different from every other night.”
Muddle Class is an exploration of Jason’s confusion about his current social status, and says hearing some other - unnamed - comedians talking about being in the queue at Sports Direct.
“I was saying to myself, ‘You don’t shop at Sports Direct!’” he said. “So, I started thinking, ‘What happens if you have some success as a comedian?
Do you have to stop doing stand-up because you are different from other people?’
“Of course you don’t. What doesn’t change is your relationship with your family and friends. There’s still a huge amount of comedy in that.”
And in warm-up shows, Jason found the subject struck a chord with audiences.
“A lot of people count themselves as ‘Muddle Class’. They find themselves in a place where they think, ‘I don’t know where I belong anymore’.
“The show is about being in that sort of social muddle.
“Most class comedy is about people aiming upwards and trying to get out of the working class.
“Look at Hyacinth Bucket. But I’m aiming the other way.
“I’m trying to be perceived as working class, even though my life is now very much middle-class!”
· Jason Manford, Muddle Class comes to the Grand Theatre on Saturday and Sunday. Call 01253 290190 for tickets.