One of the north’s favourite comics comes to The Grand

Comedian Jason Manford
Comedian Jason Manford
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Jason Manford is booked in for a Blackpool appearance on January 23 next year, to give the theatre the perfect start to 2014.

Manford will bring a brand new show to the Grand, a show he’s currently in the midst of writing. In fact he’s in these parts soon to test it out, playing an intimate gig at the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham on June 6 to see how the new material goes down.

The show, called First World Problems, kicks off in earnest a few days later on June 12, before embarking on a tour that takes Manford the length and breadth of Britain.

The tour was supposed to end on December 6 at the Manchester Arena, but Manford has extended it into the new year – including a show in Blackpool.

Manford has had a busy time since he was last on the road. After his opera singing turn saw him emerge the winner on ITV’s Born To Shine, the 31-year-old Mancunian put his new found talent into practice joining Fleetwood’s Alfie Boe on tour prior to a well-received run in the critically acclaimed hit west-end musical Sweeney Todd alongside Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.

However, his comedy bones weren’t completely idle during that time, as he made appearances on QI, Big Fat Quiz of the Year, and Channel 4’s well-received Comedy World Cup.

“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,” said Manford, as he announced details of his tour.

“I’m excited to be getting back to what I really love the most stand up.”

Stand up sets on Live at the Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and The Royal Variety Performance in 2009 helped establish Jason as a nationally loved comic, a position which landed him a presenter slot on The One Show (though it didn’t last too long) and his own comedy series on ITV.

Tickets for Manford’s show at the Grand Theatre are available from www.blackpoolgrand.com or the box office on 01253 743339.

* FORGET X-Factor, Blackpool’s Galleon Bar is giving musicians and performers throughout the town the chance to show what real talent is all about.

Owner Stephen Pierre, a keen supporter of local music, said: “We recognize that many of the less commercial acts often get over looked at talent competitions but Blackpool and the Fylde coast in general has a lot of home grown talent, musicians, singer songwriters.

“This is open to all ages. I want to promote live acoustic artistic talent, singers and songwriters, and that’s why I am doing this.”

The Galleon Bar is hosting the 10-heat competition Never Mind The X Factor, starting tonight at around 8.30pm. You don’t need to book a spot, just turn up. There is a £500 prize money pot and time in a recording studio.

Stephen added: “I am really pleased over the past two years we have seen a lot of young and seasoned acts perform at the Galleon. It has become an intimate live music venue.

“Every Monday we host an ‘Open Mic’ evening which attracts mainly a young artistic crowd of budding musicians, poets and comedians.

“I’m proud of the fact that the Galleon Bar is an attitude-free zone which proudly welcomes and showcases the weird and the wonderful.”

Acclaimed singer songwriters such as Karima Francis, Angus Mc Gregor and Laura Catlow have all graced the stage since the Galleon opened in 2011.