I was shaken by Will Smith's Oscars slap – he's a spoilt narcissistic millionaire with too much power says Jason Manford

COMIC Jason Manford has admitted he was left "shaken" by Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.

The 40-year-old has today been announced he'll present the UK's biggest street party by The National Lottery after a string of successful hosting stints.


It follows his stint on stage presenting the Laurence Olivier Awards on Sunday where he made a gag saying he'll "avoid jokes about people's wives".

And in exclusive interview with The Sun, dad-of-six Jason has given his thoughts on the outrageous moment that held a spotlight on modern-day comedy.

"I still can't believe it happened," says Jason, as tickets go on sale for The National Lottery's Big Jubilee Party.

"I was shaken a little bit as well. Maybe because I'm a comic and the idea that someone can just come up and slap you in the face then sit back down and enjoy the rest of the show, get his award and a standing ovation then go to the after show and have a great time… it's like hang on a bloody minute.

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"That's pretty impressive – the power of somebody to be able to do that.

"I think it was a horrendous thing to do."

Actor Will – who won an Oscar for his role in King Richard – has since been banned by the Academy for ten years.

He took offence to Chris Rock making a joke about his wife Jada's hair – despite her having alopecia.

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But Jason doesn't believe Chris knew about her condition.

"It wasn't a great joke but I don't think there was any malice in it," said Jason.

"I've done it myself. You do a joke about someone and think 'why aren't they laughing' and then you look down and see they haven't got any hands or something.

"A spoiled, narcissistic millionaire, slaps another slightly spoiled, narcissistic millionaire in the face for a joke in front of a room full of other narcissistic millionaires. That's essentially what happened.

"I'd rather read about Ukraine on the front pages instead of that.

"Fundamentally it comes down to two men. I don't think anyone is thinking 'oh we can slap comics now'. But I will very much be keeping everyone's wives' names out of my mouth."

Despite his reaction to Chris Rock's assault, Jason believes he'll be safe from ever suffering the same fate.

"I've always been quite a safe pair of hands," he says.

"I know where the line is and if anything I make myself the butt of most jokes. I'm quite self-deprecating. 

"I would be mortified if somebody left my show offended.

"I'd really feel aggrieved by that, but it's kind of what society has pushed us into.

"At the same time, I don't necessarily pander to people who are offended by things. I think 'grow up'.

"There are bigger things going on in the world. I'm sure the people in Ukraine would wish being offended is the only problem they've got."

On May 12, Jason will be on stage at Manchester’s AO Arena to host an entertainment extravaganza in honour of the Queen's jubilee.

He said: “I’m very excited to be in my hometown hosting The National Lottery’s Big Jubilee Street Party in celebration of The Queen.

"I’ll be making sure the night will be full of energy, glitz, and glamour. The audience is in for a treat – the show is going to be simply fantastic.

"It will be a wonderful celebration of our monarch’s extraordinary reign – and having something to celebrate is exactly what people need right now.

"I know everyone says she's got so much privilege and loads of money but just because you have that doesn't mean you can't have tough times and problems too. She's been through a lot lately.

"She's been in this role for so long. Even the most hardened of anti-Royals can't say she hasn't put an absolute shift in for seven decades."

Jason will host alongside X Factor star Fleur East, with performances from Tom Grennan, Calum Scott, Becky Hill, Ella Henderson & Nathan Dawe, to celebrate the momentous occasion.

It will be aired on ITV and ITV Hub over the Jubilee weekend. 

  • 10,000 tickets will be available FREE on a first-come, first-served basis. For further details and to purchase a ticket, National Lottery players should click here.

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