Jason Manford brings First World Problems to Hertfordshire

Comedian Jason Manford will be appearing at the Alban Arena in St Albans and Watford Colosseum in February

Comedian Jason Manford will be appearing at the Alban Arena in St Albans and Watford Colosseum in February

Archant

Northern comedian Jason Manford will be bringing First World Problems to Hertfordshire this month.

The former The One Show host will be appearing at Watford Colosseum on Saturday, February 15, at 8pm, as part of his new stand-up tour.

He will then entertain fans with First World Problems at the Alban Arena, in St Albans, on Tuesday, February 25 and Wednesday, February 26.

Manford’s latest tour features a wealth of comedy anecdotes, misunderstandings and audience banter, all delivered with Jason’s likeable, laid-back charm and teasingly intelligent wit.

Since he was last on the road, Jason has not run away to join the opera, like many think.

Despite winning ITV1’s charity-based talent competition Born To Shine, putting his new-found talent into practice by joining Alfie Boe on tour, and then starring in the critically acclaimed West End production of Sweeney Todd alongside Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, Jason has not forgotten his stand-up roots.

During his stint in the West End, Jason’s comedy bones weren’t completely idle as he enjoyed appearances on BBC Two panel show QI, Channel 4’s Big Fat Quiz of the Year and Comedy World Cup, also on C4.

Of his new tour, he says: “Some of you might think I’ve had a career change what with all the opera and musical theatre I’ve been doing lately.

“Not a chance. I’m excited to be getting back to what I really love the most – stand-up.”

It was stand-up sets on Live at the Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and The Royal Variety Performance that helped establish Jason as a nationally known comic, a position which made him the ideal host of ITV’s reality comedy competition, Show Me the Funny.

A comedian with a charismatic style, Jason strikes up a natural rapport with his audiences.

He also possesses an irresistible amiability and generates a rare warmth on stage.

All these talents have combined to make Jason one of the most in-demand comics in the country.

The performer says the buzz you get from live comedy is unrivalled.

“You can’t give it up!” he beams. “People who haven’t done stand-up focus on the negatives – ‘what’s it like to die on stage?’

“I always say, ‘It’s horrendous, the worst feeling in the world’. But the lows are so low because the highs are so high.”

He adds: “It’s a huge risk, but when it goes right, there is nothing better.

“It creates a communal feeling that you just can’t beat.

“You get all these people laughing and you think, ‘I did that!’ If you make one person laugh in a day, that’s great. Imagine multiplying that by 10,000!”

Jason underlines that stand-up remains his overwhelming passion, despite his success on television.

“TV is simpler. You can do re-takes. But you’re not getting an immediate response. You don’t know if something is funny till weeks later.

“Overall TV is much, much easier. A lot of the time it’s just professional reading. It’s reading while trying to make it look like you’re not reading.”

Stand-up, on the other hand, is much more demanding.

“On stage, you’re everything,” Jason continues.

“You’re the boss. You’re the performer, writer, editor, director. You’re even Ofcom.

“You decide what to say. It’s brilliant.”

* Jason Manford brings his new show First World Problems to Watford Colosseum on Saturday, February 15 at 8pm.

Tickets cost £23.50, with a £2.50 per ticket booking fee, capped at six per order.

Visit www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk for more information and to book online 24 hours a day.

Tickets can also be purchased by calling 0845 075 3993, or visiting the Watford Colosseum ticket office.

Jason Manford will be appearing at the Alban Arena, in St Albans, on Tuesday, February 25 and Wednesday, February 26 at 8pm. Tickets are £22.50.

Call the Alban Arena box office on 01727 84488 or book online at www.alban-arena.co.uk

* For more comedy news, visit the Welwyn Hatfield Times’ What’s On section.

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