In what goddamn world is this an appealing concept? Now, for the record, I actually kind of like Jason Manford. He seems like a nice guy. The kind of guy who would be very pleasant company at your aunt’s fortieth, who would sit around the table cracking jokes in his friendly Northern accent, putting everyone at ease as he tucked into a hefty slice of quiche. But when, after a few glasses of red, he began belting out show tunes, the mood would shift quite drastically.
Anyway, feast your eyes on this.
So what the shit is going on here? Jason Manford – the bloke off 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown – is releasing an album of show tunes. This makes more sense when you consider he recently appeared in stage productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Producers but still, you know, who is asking for this?
Clearly Alexander Armstrong and Bradley Walsh have a lot to answer for. Last year’s trend of daytime TV hosts releasing covers albums appears to have spilled over into 2017, only now it’s comedians getting in on the action. What next? Johnny Vegas sings the blues? Jack Dee does Dylan? I mean where is the line here?
The real question is who exactly is this for? Surely it was nans who gave Armstrong and Walsh their sales, already familiar with them through their tea-time TV slots, but who is Jason Manford’s target audience? Where is the crossover market for people who like crass topical humour but also My Fair Lady? It’s a baffling combination that feels like it came to some desperate label exec in a fever dream.
The promo video shows a serious looking Manford in black and white – as though to add a touch of the theatrical, I guess – between shots of him goofing around and playing up to the cameras. I ask again – who is this for? What person is watching this and thinking ‘Yes, this is relevant to my interests’? Who is continuing to convince TV personalities to release bad covers albums? Why is no one stopping this? When will global warming finally swallow up this turgid mess of a planet? Whatever happened to Stacie Orrico? Who will answer all my questions?