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