Jason Manford has disclosed that Paddy McGuinness previously dismissed him for an unusual reason.
Jason is now a household name, yet he originally rose to prominence as fellow comic Paddy’s warm-up act in 2006.
However, signing him up for the performance had the opposite effect planned, as Paddy ended up firing Jason for eliciting too many laughter from the audience.
The Masked Singer‘s 42-year-old star has said that he first leaped at the chance to open for the Take Me Out presenter, 50, since when he was offered the position, Jason was earning £70 per night as a club comic in the early 2000s.
When the call came to support Paddy in ‘proper theatres, Jason ‘snapped their hand off’ following a proposal of being ‘done by 8:15pm’ and earning ‘£100 a show’.
‘It certainly beats performing at Leicester Jongleurs and having beer bottles thrown at me,’ Jason told MailOnline.
‘I signed up for the whole tour which was around 80 dates, I was thinking I could put down a deposit on a little flat in Manchester or something.
‘Around six or seven gigs in I thought I was doing really well as I was “club ready”, my act was really polished, but I then got a call from the tour manager and he said to me, “They’ve decided to go in a different direction for support. I think you’re a bit too funny”.’
Technically, that’s a compliment… right?
Paddy was ‘new to stand-up’ at the time, according to Jason, and he believed audiences liked his material since his family-friendly jokes were comparable to those of his Phoenix Nights co-star, Peter Kay.
‘Paddy was new to stand up and because I was a bit similar to Peter Kay, who was my hero, I suppose the audience that were coming off the back of Phoenix Nights were kind of my people who laugh at the same things as me,’ Jason explained.
‘So ended up getting sacked as Paddy’s tour support, even though one night I did longer than him on stage!’
Despite being dropped off the tour, Jason has stated that there is no bad blood between them.
When Paddy revealed his 2024 tour dates in November, Jason teased him, saying, ‘If you’re looking for tour support, I know a decent comedian.’
Ever the jokester, Paddy replied: ‘Do pass on his details.’
He’s continued to sing Paddy’s praises, saying that if he were to ‘sit around a table’ with the former Top Gear host, alongside comics Harry Hill, Dara O’Briain, Sarah Millican, and even Peter, ‘Paddy would be the funniest person at that table.’
‘In company, he is hilarious.
‘So if he can get whatever he’s got when you’re just talking to him and replicate on stage, he’s onto a winner.’
Jason and Paddy will be on the road together next year, with Jason’s tour, A Manford All Seasons, after the success of his Like Me tour, which lasted nearly two years.
Meanwhile, Paddy will appear in theatres around the country beginning in November and lasting until 2025.