A YEAR since the infamous Twitter scandal that cost him his reputation, Jason Manford returned to Tyneside to try and regain hearts and minds.
In November 2010, the comedian quit his new role as co-presenter of The One Show to focus on his family life after tabloids reported he’d exchanged sexually-oriented internet messages with fans.
Since then he has embarked on a year-long comedy tour, and it is safe to say he is now doing what he’s truly best at.
Within moments of taking to the stage in his Off On Tour We Go show, it was clear Manford possesses a personality that is both likeable and contagious.
He interacted with his crowd like a bartender chats with his customers – there is a believable friendliness to his act.
Speaking on a wide range of topics, from the unavoidable desire to beat the ‘sat nav’ arrival time to the self-service machines in supermarkets, his material is inoffensive and relatable.
His account of a woman in a supermarket opting to buy Michael McIntyre’s DVD over his own showed his down-to-earth nature, which few big-name comedians can convincingly boast.
Most interesting was his decision to side-step jokes about his wife, and it seemed Manford was desperate to rebuild his reputation as an honest, safe and likeable entertainer.
After 13 years as a comedian, the 30-year-old knows all the tricks of the trade, and when met with heckles from the excitable audience, his spontaneous responses deserved great credit.
Unlike so many of his peers, Manford takes great interest in his fans.
After offering to meet people in the foyer after the gig, he is doing all the right things to win over the public and restore his reputation.
Twelve months on, after getting back to basics, Manford has returned.