Royal Variety Performance: Jason Manford opens show with song
Jason Manford, 39, has admitted finding it “odd” that the Royal Family were not part of the virtual audience for The Royal Variety Performance 2020. The Death in Paradise guest star hosted the show, which the royals usually attend each year.
However, due to coronavirus restrictions, it was only Prince Charles who sent in a brief video message at the start of the performance.
Jason felt disappointed that it was regarded “logistically impossible” for members of the Royal Family to make more of an appearance via video link.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, the comedian said when quizzed on whether he found it odd that the royals couldn’t attend: “Yeah, even if we just got a Corgi!
“Yeah it was a shame, we got a nice message from Prince Charles before the show.
READ MORE… Death In Paradise’s Jason Manford ’embarrassed to be paid’ for role
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“But it would have been nice to have them there or even at least on Zoom or something, so I don’t really know why that was logistically impossible!”
Fortunately, Jason admitted there was one upside to the royals not being in attendance for the first time last year.
He divulged: “But in a way, it took a bit of pressure out of the gig to be honest, so we could just get on with making a great show.
“That’s the fourth time that I’ve done Royal Variety, which is great.
“It’s the first time I’ve hosted it, but the fourth time I’ve actually done it.”
Reflecting on his stint as host, the comic added in reference to the virtual audience aspect: “It was weird, but actually we had a really fun time doing it and everyone was so chuffed to be back on stage and being in a venue and being with each other, so it was actually alright.
“As stressful as it was, the fact that there was no audience, it was kind of a bit of a laugh.”
Jason also revealed the royals thankfully weren’t too picky about which jokes he could and couldn’t tell on the night.
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The star said: “Nobody said, ‘Don’t say this, don’t say that’.
“They want you to be positive and that’s sometimes hard when you’re a comedian and the world is so negative.
“You want to sort of take the mickey out of them and the odd situation we find ourselves in and take a wry look or a cynical look on it.
“But what was nice I thought is that this show is a real escape from everything that’s going on, so why not just embrace that and have a bit of fun with it.”
Jason also shared details about his experience working on the sun-kissed French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, when he joined Death in Paradise’s guest cast for season 10.
He declared: “To call it work would be an insult to work.”
In spite of Jason enjoying the beauty of the island, he also divulged that the main cast, including Ralf Little and Sara Martins, “put a shift in” due to the sweltering hot weather conditions.
He added: “But they put a shift in, as beautiful as it is, that’s quite hard conditions to be filming in, especially in a full suit.
“But as a guest act, good God, I was actually embarrassed to be paid because it was just great fun.”
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