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Man Up Manford

September 19, 2010

This story was a curious intersection between the world of the tweeting celebrity and that of the political Twittersphere. It all started with a rant from comedian Jason Manford (@Jason_Manford), which was left on the cutting room floor:

Prime time TV presenter Jason Manford has launched an attack on channel bosses after comments he made criticising the Government were cut from coverage of a charity concert.
Comedian Manford, who replaced Adrian Chiles as presenter of The One Show, was furious that his rant at Sunday’s huge Help For Heroes gig was left out when a version was screened.
The 29-year-old had raged that injured servicemen and women were left to be cared for by a charity rather than the Government.

Manford reacted to the fact his rant was cut in this tweet:

Just watched my bit at the @HelpforHeroes gig. Can’t believe some shithouse edited out the bit about the Government. Free Speech my arse!Tue Sep 14 11:14:53 via Echofon

Lib Dem (former Green) activist Mathew Hulbert (@mathewhulbert), a longstanding participant in the political twittersphere with a penchant for tweeting BBC Question Time every week to query anti-Lib Dem bias on the panel, responded with the following tweet saying Manford should make like Switzerland and stay neutral:

@Jason_Manford What did you say about the Government Jason? I hope you remained impartial, as your new role rather requires.Tue Sep 14 11:16:00 via web

The exchange continued in surreal fashion:

@mathewhulbert nope, if I have an opinion then I’ll share it. Not on the One Show but in my proper job as a comedianTue Sep 14 11:16:47 via Echofon

@Jason_Manford Wel, yeah but you can’t divorce you on TV for half an hour each night and you as a comedian…that’s a nonsense.Tue Sep 14 11:17:54 via web

@mathewhulbert I can and I will.Tue Sep 14 11:28:56 via Echofon

@Jason_Manford Would we accept Huw Edwards or Adrian Chiles speaking out against the Govt? No, we wouldn’t.Tue Sep 14 11:22:22 via web

@mathewhulbert I’m a presenter in a magazine show, not a news show or a journalistic show, I’m a comedian at an event with an opinionTue Sep 14 11:31:57 via Echofon

@simonpjbest But we can’t make our brains divorce what BBC presenters such as @Jason_Manford say on TV and elsewhere…Tue Sep 14 11:24:45 via web

@mathewhulbert @simonpjbest well maybe you need to grow up a bit if your “brain” can’t work out the differenceTue Sep 14 11:33:41 via Echofon

@mathewhulbert don’t be faseicious, Gulf, Iraq, Falklands, Kosovo have all happened over different Govts, I’m talking Govt in generalTue Sep 14 11:39:30 via Echofon

@Jason_Manford What happens now if there’s a report on that subject on The One Show? We just forget what you think do wer?Tue Sep 14 11:30:51 via web

@mathewhulbert no, you realise that in an adult & have opinions. Often on the One Show we offer our own opinions, it thinking of the newsTue Sep 14 11:48:28 via Echofon

@Jason_Manford Ah right, so you’re on about wars twenty years ago? Come on, admit it, you’re on about the last Govt and/or this one, no?Tue Sep 14 11:41:22 via web

@mathewhulbert no, I’m talking about 1 in 4 homeless people are ex military. That’s over the last 40+ years.Tue Sep 14 11:57:58 via Echofon

@mikeblakeney Ah but that is self-evidently a comedy panel show form of satire…not a magazine BBC show. (@Jason_Manford)Tue Sep 14 11:43:21 via web

@mathewhulbert @mikeblakeney yes but I didn’t say it on the One Show I said it at a live comedy gig while doing stand up. Case closed.Tue Sep 14 11:59:12 via Echofon

Quite why the political neutrality of the host of a *cough* popular evening magazine show was so important to Hulbert one can only imagine; just wait until he hears about the view Alex Thomas holds on the renewal of Trident! Thankfully though, it looks like it all worked out alright in the end.

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