Symfunny: Jason Manford, Josh Widdicombe and Pete Townsend raise the roof and cash for Parkinson's

Mary Gallagher

A notably slimmer Jason Manford hosted Parkinson’s Presents Symfunny No2 at London’s The Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday night and interspersed the music, comedy and quiz acts with his common-sense but utterly hilarious humour.

Jason Manford hosts Parkinson’s UK presents Symfunny No2, a fundraising event bringing together musicians and comedians for a night of music and laughter, at Royal Albert Hall, London. (Photo by Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock)

Jason took aim at people who moan about jokes the most “out of all the horrible things that happen in this world” and teased “you know, ‘knock knock…’ But what about all the homeless people, they’ve not got a door?”

He was just testing the waters before he went on to reminisce about his days presenting the BBC’s ‘The One Show’ with Alex Jones and recalled the time when he got 2000 complaints, for poking fun at the cat that was picked up and chucked in a wheely bin by a cruel passer-by way back in 2010.

Jason was a brilliant host and reminded us that we’d love to see him doing more TV work.

Throughout the course of the evening the comedian introduced fellow funnyman Josh Widdicombe, who guffawed about the wonder of contactless cards and plinkety-plonked on a typewriter along to the orchestra, and Rob Deering – who reworked Frozen’s Let It Go, turning it into a homage to the pain of stepping on Lego.

Brendan Carrol aka Agnes Jones at Symfunny No2. (REX)

Mrs Brown’s Boys star Agnes Brown (Brendan Carroll) made us all flinch when she told a story about her sister getting her period and wrapping the strip of cloth meant for her underwear around her head and ears.

Elsewhere, Jack Dee led the ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue’ quiz, during which Barry Cryer explained that “a onesie is what the Queen calls a selfie” and The Who legend Pete Townshend performed his hits The One and Love, Reign O’er Me from ‘Quadrophenia’.

The first Symfunny was put on four years ago by Parkinson’s sufferer James Morgan and Juliette Pochin and they raised £125,000. The conductor admitted in the programme that it is “an emotional night” and indeed we were introduced to other people whose stories were heartbreaking to hear, including Karen Missenden’s. In a video interview we saw her cry out in desperation “I can’t have this for the next 40-odd years. It doesn’t bear thinking about. I just want a cure. And I want it now.”

Text CURE56 £5 to 70070 to donate to Parkinson’s research.

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