What’s On profiles Jason Manford with the comedian performing in Dubai. Jason Manford in Dubai takes place at Crowne Plaza on June 22 and 23. Get tickets.

His ability to make people laugh has made him a star, but Jason Manford’s skills aren’t limited to great comic timing. The Manchester stand-up’s eclectic CV includes everything from collecting glasses in his local pub to singing and dancing in a West End show, via stints as a factory worker, a builder, and behind the counter at his local branch of Burger King.  

Manford says of his quirky career path: “I was on that minimum-wage conveyor belt of jobs. I always felt that stand-up, even though I wanted it to be a career, was really just a well-paid hobby.”

The father-of-three only gave up his other jobs when he realised comedy was earning him a better living. “It gives you a very different drive when you’re doing gigs to pay your bills and to live, rather than just doing it for a laugh,” he said.

Manford went on to become a household name, but he has never stopped adding strings to his bow. He now juggles stand-up with writing, acting, TV presenting, voiceover work and radio – in addition to his penchant for musical theatre, which was revealed when he played the role of Pirelli in Sweeney Todd on stage in London in 2012.

All that, in addition to his stand-up tours, adds up to a pretty packed schedule, but it seems Manford, who has auditioned for Hollywood acting roles, doesn’t plan to stop there.

“Russell Brand and James Corden – there are so many people that are your mates who you suddenly see in a Hollywood film and you go: ‘Hang on! What’s going on here?’” he said. “Your horizons become your middle distance, don’t they? You’ve always got to keep your eye on what else you want to do.”

But before Manford leaves Stockport for La-La Land, he’s coming to Dubai to help the Laughter Factory celebrate 18 years of bringing top comics to the UAE. Jason sure has come a long way from asking if you want fries with that.

June 22 and 23
Crowne Plaza Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 7pm, Dhs300. Tel: (04) 3551862. Metro: Emirates Towers. thelaughterfactory.com