‘A-ha!’ MM’s top five… Manchester comedians

By Matt Simpson

With the nation’s comedians joining forces to raise money for Red Nose Day last week, MM decided to look at some of Manchester’s finest funny men (and women).

Normally known for its contribution to musical culture, Manchester is also home to some of the finest comedy minds in Britain.

But with so many jostling for the top spot, just who is our number one? 

5. Victoria Wood

Born in Prestwich, the multi-talented Victoria Wood is one of the nation’s most loved comediennes and has been since she burst onto the scene in the 1980s.

Wood displays her many talents through her stand-up routines, often singing songs laced with observational comedy and playing her own compositions on the piano.

But it is perhaps for sketch shows such as Victoria Wood As Seen On TV or the award-winning sitcom Dinnerladies that she is best known.

4. Chris Addison

Despite being born in Cardiff, Chris Addison moved to Worsley in Greater Manchester when he was four and considers himself to be a Mancunian.

Addison first solo performance was at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2003, for which he was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Perrier Awards.

Since then, Addison has carved out a fine career as a regular panellist on the satirical Mock the Week and has appeared as guest on other such shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats and Would I Lie To You?

3. Jason Manford

After two successful UK tours, Jason Manford is rapidly becoming one of comedy’s rising stars and will start a third tour later this year.

An avid Manchester City fan, Manford has appeared on radio, hosting Manchester’s Xfm breakfast show, and on television as a host of The One Show and a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats.

2. Peter Kay

Peter Kay is regarded as one of Britain’s best stand-up comedians and indeed his last tour The Tour That Doesn’t Tour is the world’s best-selling live stand-up show.

The immensely popular Bolton comic has also proven to be an excellent sitcom writer and actor, having a hand in creating classics such as Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy’ Road to Nowhere.

Not content with just stand-up and television work, Kay can also boast a UK number one single with his Comic Relief re-release of Tony Christies’ (Is This The Way To) Amarillo?

1. Steve Coogan

‘Straight away you’ve got them by the jaffas’… This is just one pearl of wisdom from his finest creation, Alan Partridge, which Middleton’s Steve Coogan has taken to heart.

Coogan began his career as an impressionist in the 1980s and worked doing voiceovers and impression on shows such as Spitting Image.

Aside from impressions and his stand-up however, Coogan will always be remembered for his part in creating politically incorrect radio and TV presenter (or ‘narcissistic wally’) Partridge.

Honourable mentions:

Years before Frankie Boyle was making cringe-worthy gags, Ancoats-born Bernard Manning was writing the rule-book on controversial comedy – with particular focus on ethnic stereotypes and minority groups.

A master of deadpan comedy, Les Dawson will be remembered for his one-liners (especially involving his mother-in-law) and his character Ada Shufflebotham who teamed up with Roy Barraclough’s Cissie Braithwaite to provide a hysterical slice of Lancashire humour.

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Picture courtesy of orayzio via Flickr, with thanks

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