Jason Manford was forced to cancel Strictly stint after daughters were born prematurely
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Jason Manford, 39, has revealed he signed up to take part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2009, but had to cancel his stint due to family reasons. The dad-of-six, who also starred on The Masked Singer 2020, addressed his appearance on the BBC dance competition falling through in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.
The comedian recalled the situation when quizzed on whether working with Strictly 2019 champion Kelvin Fletcher on Death in Paradise inspired him to want to compete in the programme.
Jason explained he was ready to embrace Strictly’s famous dance floor until his daughters were born prematurely just before he was set to appear on the show.
The singer and actor shares his twin girls with his first wife Catherine, who he split with in 2013.
Jason admitted during a chat about Sky Cinema’s Elf-inspired campaign: “I signed up to do Strictly before and it sort of fell through, that was 2009 I think.
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“My daughters were born prematurely so I ended up cancelling.”
The star went on to say he wouldn’t “write off” signing up to Strictly again in the future.
He added: “But yeah who knows? 2020 has taught me to not write anything off.
“I don’t know if I would [win it], I’d be the Ann Widdecombe character I think!”
In spite of his extensive experience performing in West End musicals, Jason insisted Strictly would challenge his skills in a different way.
He explained: “You’d think the [West End experience would help].
“But it’s very different learning two bits of choreography for a musical that you then perform 300 times to learning a brand new dance in front of 10 million people every week.
“I’d do it to lose weight,” the television personality quipped.
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Jason has four children – twin girls, a daughter and a son – with his ex Catherine.
He has been married to second wife Lucy Dyke since December 2017 and they share two children together.
Jason also spoke about getting involved in celebrating Elf coming to Sky Cinema this Christmas.
Addressing the festive campaign’s exciting competition for a fan to receive an Elf-inspired home-makeover, he said: “You get asked to do various things throughout the year and I always try and pick things that I’m genuinely interested in or agree with.
“So I do think Elf is one of the best Christmas films and I’m a huge fan of it so I thought, well that will be fun.
“Also giving someone a big Elf makeover at their house, I thought that would be fun and there were over 400 entries from people dressing up and doing stunts.
“So it was a really lovely couple of weeks just watching people, even though it’s been such a stressful horrible year, watching people having fun!”
Sharing his family’s own festive traditions, Jason added: “My dad’s birthday is December 1, so we always went December 2 for the start of Christmas and that’s Christmas films and songs and decorations – we really have the month of December as Christmas.
“But as soon as we get to the day after Boxing Day, I’m like, ‘Take everything down, it’s over!’”
Jason was speaking on behalf of Sky Cinema, which launched a competition to celebrate Elf coming to Sky Cinema this Christmas. The competition winner, Courtney Chanel, from Portsmouth received an Elf inspired home-makeover, £3,000 towards festive goodies and Sky Q for a year.
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