Brung Up Proper – Jason Manford
Book Review Rating: *****
Publisher: Ebury Press
Further information and to purchase ‘Brung up Proper‘
The opening chapter of Jason Manford’s autobiography sets the scene beautifully and dramatically for what’s to follow in the next 25 chapters of the book. It’s a wonderful microcosm of great humour and insight into his extraordinary family life that contains rather more than its fair share of larger than life characters.
I loved discovering the aha moment that spiked not just an interest in stand-up comedy, but something that what would turn out to be a successful career for Jason. The clarity and simplicity of the moment was all too clear outlined, almost like a punchline to what could have been a very disappointing Christmas for a young Jason Manford. Receiving a C90 cassette of well known Comedians for Christmas in 1990 proved to be the most pivotal moment in his young life at that point and a simple present given merely to bring joy and laughter, inadvertently achieved so much more than that and set Jason on the path to becoming a Comedian. The tape featured the likes of Billy Connolly, Les Dawson, Dave Allen, Ben Elton, Victoria Wood and Eddie Murphy to name but a few. Most people just laugh at these people’s jokes, but what sets someone like Jason apart, is his desire to become one of those people telling the jokes, not just the punter in the audience or viewer watching on television in the comfort of their home.
As with many performers, Jason’s family background is key to understanding who he is and he doesn’t shy away from it, warts and all, in this hugely entertaining, extremely funny and revealing autobiography. Each character is clearly and vividly depicted, from his brothers to his ‘nanna’ to some of the less savoury members of Manford’s extended family.
Not surprisingly for this football loving fan, his passion for Manchester City underpins the book too, though that’s not the dominant theme in the book at all, but an important element none the less as we learn a lot about what it was like to grow up in Manchester as we’re taken through many eventful stories from Jason’s childhood, to teenage years, to adulthood and all of the, well some of, the romantic escapades in between! Manford beautifully captures the feelings of first love and teenage crushes which brings back memories for all who’ve been there.
‘Brung Up Proper’ doesn’t seem to spare anything in some of the astonishing revelations from his upbringing, but also shows in great and humorous detail the journey he found himself on to try and become the very talented Comedian he became. It clear their’s a lot of hard work and travelling involved, often for very little reward, yet also there’s a fair degree luck involved too and he highlights the importance of being willing to accept any offer of stage time to try and make people laugh. The book shows that if you want to make it you always need to be ready for you never know when that one opportunity to shine will arise. On top of that, you need to be prepared to fail, to pick yourself up and start all over again. Jason Manford did all that and much, much more to get to where he is today. He was ‘brung up proper’ so to speak, with good hard working values that included putting family first and by featuring them so prominently in his autobiography he shows that he’s not forgotten the part they played in him becoming the Comedian and Father he became.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
- Funny Business – Can’t you take a joke? Tiemo book review – 25th April 2014