JASON Manford was brought up by a cash-strapped family in a Salford estate notorious for gangs and gun crime.

From there he worked his way up the hard way from glass collector to stage act alongside the likes of Peter Kay, Eddie Izzard and Johnny Vegas at The Buzz Club in Chorlton.

Now life is very different. His successful stand-up career has made him a wealthy man and, naturally, his lifestyle has changed a fair bit too.

So his latest routine Muddle Class, which is coming to the Colchester’s Charter Hall later in the year on October 12, will see him weighing up his place in the UK’s social classes.

“It came from watching other unnamed comedians chatting about being in the queue at Sports Direct,” he says.

“I was saying to myself: ‘You don’t shop at Sports Direct!’

“So I started thinking what happens if you have some success as a comedian?

“Do you have to stop doing stand-up because you are different from other people?

“Of course you don’t. What doesn’t change is your relationship with your family and friends. There’s still a huge amount of comedy in that.”

As he started to develop this idea in warm-up shows, Jason discovered that it struck a real chord with audiences.

The 37-year-old adds: “A lot of people count themselves as ‘Muddle Class’.

“They find themselves in a place where they think, ‘I don’t know where I belong anymore’. The show is about being in that sort of social muddle.

“Most class comedy is about people aiming upwards and trying to get out of the working class.

“Look at Hyacinth Bucket. But I’m aiming the other way. I’m trying to be perceived as working class, even though my life is now very much middle-class.”

Jason’s first love will always be stand-up but he has also shown his talents elsewhere recently.

In 2005 he had his first big break in a primetime TV drama after working with Max Beesley, Michelle Keegan and Mackenzie Crook in Ordinary Lies which was filmed in Warrington.

Gazette: Jason Manford in the Producers

After that he went on to present ITV1’s Bigheads, which won Best TV Game Show at the 2017 Rose d’Or Awards followed by What Would Your Kid Do?

He also fronts a three-hour live show on Absolute Radio every Sunday morning – for which he was nominated as Best Music Presenter at The Radio Academy’s 2017’s ARIAS.

And if that was not enough Jason recently released his debut album, A Different Stage, on Decca Records.

Drawing on his passion for musical theatre, the Top Ten record includes On the Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady, Hushabye Mountain from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Stars from Les Misérables and The Impossible Dream from the 1965 hit Broadway musical, Man of La Mancha.

The stand-up also somehow finds the time to run Manford’s Comedy Club with his brother, Colin where they hand-pick the best of the circuit’s under-the-radar talent for shows around the country.

The club has employed more than 300 comedians to play to more than 45,000 people in more than 60 different venues.

But for the time being, Jason is going back to his roots where the loyalty of his fans always bowl him over.

Jason, a patron of Children’s Adventure Farm Trust, says: “People do seem to connect with me.

“I know the effort and expense people go to in order to be at my show.

“It’s about having respect for that. I know how much it costs to pay for tickets, taxis, food and babysitters.

“Even if you are a huge comedy fan, you might only go to two or three gigs a year. I realise it’s a very big deal that they have come to see me.

“I know how rare it is for couple to be able to have a night out. So the fact that they want to spend it with me is a real honour.

“As a consequence I want to ensure they have the best possible night and have a really fun time with me for a couple of hours.”

Elsewhere in the routine Jason talks about why Disney films focusing on the death of a parent are so depressing, why his brother is suspicious of his new-found middle-class inclinations, political correctness and speed awareness courses.

Jason adds: “What I love about live comedy is that it’s different from everything else I do – TV, theatre, musicals, and music.

“Things will happen tonight that won’t happen tomorrow and didn’t happen yesterday. Every night is unique. That’s the magic of live. I just love it.”

Jason even enjoys the touring/travelling aspect of his work that at best most comedians tolerate and at worst they loathe.

He says: “I get stir-crazy if I stay in one place too long. My whole adult life has been spent touring, and I love it. I couldn’t do a nine-to-five job. That would hurt my head.

“Out of everything I do, stand-up is the job I love most. It’s great to be returning to the freedom of being in charge of what I say and do. It’s just lovely to be back.”

Jason Manford Muddle Class is at Charter Hall, Leisure World, Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, on October 12. Doors open at 6.30pm and tickets, priced £27.50 are available from colchester-events.co.uk or via the Mercury box office on 01206 573948.