QI Panellist

Jason Manford made his QI debut in the J series ‘Just the Job’ and ‘Justice’ episodes flanked by comic regulars Sandi Toksvig and Jeremy Clarkson and the seriously brainy Professor Brian Cox. Not that this intimidated him – Manford is the king of the panel show having made his TV breakthrough as a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats in 2007. Since then he hasn’t looked back, appearing as a guest on Would I Lie to You and Celebrity Juice, as home captain with Peter Andre on Odd One In and hosting Show Me the Funny, a competitive reality show for aspiring comedians launched in 2011. He even did a brief stint as co-host on The One Show.  This all points to a confident and quick-witted presence in front of the camera - the perfect combination for QI.
Much of that confidence comes from Jason’s early start as a stand-up. Working as a 17-year old glass-collector at the Buzz, Manchester’s oldest comedy club, he stepped in and delivered a very well received seven minutes when a booked act failed to show. A few weeks later he won the 1999 City Life Comedian of the Year Award, previously won by Caroline Aherne, Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay. Kay became his mentor and helped him enroll for the diploma course in Media and Performance at the University of Salford. After this Jason went on to be shortlisted for a Perrier in 2005 and win the Chortle Award for Best Breakthrough act in 2006.
Billy Connolly is his hero and once asked who his comedy family would be he named Les Dawson and Victoria Wood as his parents, Peter Kay as his brother, Connolly as his uncle, Sarah Millican as his cousin and Bill Cosby as granddad. His genius for teasing humour out of the everyday – football, TV, the perils of fast food, his appearance– will guarantee his return to the QI panel.  
After all, it’s hard to resist anyone who when asked to name something he likes, replies with perfect modesty: ‘there's nothing quite as satisfying as putting your finger through the foil on a jar of Nescafe. And I don't even drink coffee.’

Jason Manford

JONATHAN ROSS on Jason Manford

One of the most consistently funny and effortlessly charming new comics around.



There's nothing wrong with mainstream comedy. We can't all be on the edge. Some of us would fall off.