Have two mums and down the shops... I be on Jeremy Kyle?

Irish Sunday Mirror - - STYLE ON SUNDAY -

al­bum on Decca Records. In­spired by his late gran Nora Ryan, an Ir­ish pub singer, it is called A Dif­fer­ent Stage – a far cry from both standup and his Sun­day show on Ab­so­lute Ra­dio. It fea­tures The Street Where You Live, from My Fair Lady, and Stars, from Les Mis. His favourite is Hushabye Moun­tain, which he sang as Car­ac­ta­cus Potts on tour in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It’s the lul­laby he sings to his kids.

For­ever in comic mode, Ja­son an­swers most ques­tions with a gag. When we talk about diet, he says: “I tried do­ing the 5:2 but only man­aged the five. I could ba­si­cally wear Danny Devito as a belt.” But there is a som­bre side to him too. One of his pals died in the Ari­ana Grande con­cert bomb­ing at Manch­ester Arena. Ja­son al­most got tick­ets for his kids, but they chose to see Lit­tle Mix in­stead.

He de­scribes as “soul crush­ing” the mo­ment he learned the 22 vic­tims in­cluded Mar­tyn Hett, 29 – who had been due to go trav­el­ling with part­ner Rus­sell Hay­ward.

Ja­son adds: “The next Satur­day we were in the city cen­tre. We thought, ‘let’s go to gay vil­lage’, to show the ter­ror­ists they can’t win.

“So many peo­ple came up to me who were Mar­tyn’s friends. What his family didn’t re­alise was how many peo­ple’s lives he’d touched.”

Ja­son also speaks warmly of an­other young man – Stephen Sut­ton, who died from can­cer in 2014 aged 19. Stephen cap­tured the na­tion’s heart via his blog, an in­spi­ra­tional bucket list and a thumbs-up salute that de­fined his self­less na­ture.

Ja­son do­nated €11,000 and the turnover from his shows for a month to Stephen’s Teenage Can­cer Trust Ap­peal, which went on to raise nearly €6.7mil­lion.

He still keeps in touch with the teen’s family, vis­it­ing his mum Jane when he is in Birm­ing­ham. He says: “Wise peo­ple come along ev­ery so of­ten and af­fect your life and I think he was one of them.

“If you did one of the things he had on his bucket list, your life would be in a bet­ter place.”

Ja­son’s al­bum A Dif­fer­ent Stage is out now. Mud­dle Class UK tour, Jan 22 – Dec 8, 2018, for tick­ets and venues visit ja­son­man­ford.com


Peo­ple can get hung up on guilt... I have just got to do what’s best for the kids JA­SON MANFORD ON HIS FULL-ON, MOD­ERN FAMILY LIFE

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