Jason Manford reveals he replaced stolen bicycle for teacher

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Jason Manford has revealed he bought a new bicycle for a teacher educating the children of key workers during the coronavirus crisis, after hers was stolen.

The comedian said he was moved after learning of the plight of primary school teacher Jenny Williams.

He told Steph McGovern on Channel 4’s The Steph Show: “I feel a bit embarrassed telling you that story.

“I saw it on Facebook, she needed a new bike so I bought her one so she can carry teaching key workers’ children.”

Jason Manford with Steph McGovern on The Steph Show (Channel 4)

Ms Williams sent her thanks to Manford, saying: “A massive heartfelt thanks to Jason for restoring not only my faith in humanity but giving the children a real-life hero story.

“Your generosity has lifted my spirits and I feel very lucky to be able to continue to cycle to work and support the key workers at this critical time.

“Rest assured, the bike will remain locked up at all times.”

Manford also discussed the upheaval the coronavirus crisis has caused, after his theatre tour was cancelled because of the outbreak.

He had been starring in Curtains The Musical, opposite Ore Oduba and Carley Stenson, when theatres around the country were told to close.

He said: “I did have a worry at the beginning because I was supposed to be on tour and it all got cancelled.

“I drove home from Leicester where I’d just finished and I’d been doing eight shows a week, touring since September, and in the car with a bit of worry about the whole situation but also thinking ‘I’m going to have retrain myself to be a full-time dad when I get back’.”

Manford, who is father to six children, said his family have being having “a lovely time” and added that he has taken a mortgage holiday, describing it as “one of the worst holidays I’ve ever had in my life”.

The Steph Show is on every day at 12pm on Channel 4 and is available to catch up on All4.