Jason Manford to headline charity concert in memory of friend who battled cancer
Comedian Jason Manford is set to perform a live comedy show at The Oast House in Manchester in memory of his longtime friend Michelle Mullane – a former XFM and Key 103 radio host who recently died of cancer from intestine at the age of 50.
The outdoor ‘Howl for the Bowel’ show will take place on Easter Monday next year – April 18, 2022 – and proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Cancer Research UK.
Jason will be joined at this festival-style event by a host of big names from the comedy and music world, who will be announced over the next few months.
There will be a limited number of tickets available for this exclusive and intimate event. These are priced at £ 35 and go on sale at 10 a.m. on Wednesday 9 June.
Jason first met Michelle over a decade ago when she invited her to her radio show “Michelle Around Midnight” to discuss her upcoming acting career.
Michelle, who lived in Alderley Edge, was a familiar voice on airwaves in Manchester as she hosted lively talk shows on XFM and Key 103, while also making regular appearances on BBC Radio Manchester.
She and Jason forged an instant friendship and remained good friends over the years, keeping in regular contact and catching up over a cup of tea whenever they could. To this day, Jason still credits Michelle with giving him his first big break on the airwaves and helping him carve out a successful career in comedy.
Jason said, “Michelle was such a dear friend and helped me before I was anyone. She gave a lot of comedians their first chance to be on the radio and all of my time that I spent with her, I can only remember laughs, so it seems appropriate to help put this show in his honor. “
Sadly, Michelle was diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer in the summer of 2019 after being rushed to hospital with severe stomach pain. She was referred for emergency surgery and received ongoing chemotherapy treatment at Christie.
After a courageous battle, she passed away peacefully on Christmas Eve last year along with hundreds of people – including former colleagues and celebrities like comedian Phil Jupitus, Britain’s Got Talent star Steve Royle and BBC’s Phil Trow Radio Manchester – paying homage to him.
Michelle started planning ‘Howl for the Bowel’ with Jason before her death, but when the concert was postponed due to Covid-19, she remained determined it would continue even in his absence.
The event is generously sponsored by aps Media & Events, which also produces the show, and The New World Trading Company, owner of The Oast House in Spinningfields.
Michelle’s daughter, Liv Winter said, “I am delighted to be able to announce the pride and joy of my mother – Howl for the gut. She worked extremely hard on this event despite being so poor and I am honored to continue her legacy. The fact that this happens on his birthday makes it even more poignant.
My mom made me promise the event would take place no matter what, so this big announcement is for her. Everyone involved in this project wants to make my mom proud, so we can’t wait to unveil the rest of the lineup over the coming year.
Chris Doyle, Relationship Manager at Cancer Research UK, commented: “Michelle was an incredible woman who always had a smile on her face. Despite the challenges of treating cancer, she was determined to support others affected by the disease and was passionate about cancer awareness and finding a cure.
Last summer, she also supported a campaign to help raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK during the pandemic and helped raise awareness of the impact of Covid-19 on future research into the disease. His commitment and loyalty have made a unique contribution to the progress we are making.
Each year around 42,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West and one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will develop cancer in their lifetime. By supporting Howl for the Bowel, you can enjoy a brilliant afternoon of fun knowing you are doing something amazing to help beat cancer.
Julie Chatzkelson, general manager of aps Events & Media added, “We are delighted and extremely proud to be part of the organization of such a poignant event for Cancer Research UK, now in memory of our dear friend Michelle. Just over 18 months ago, Michelle and I met over a cappuccino or two, to passionately discuss an initial plan for the event. Due to Covid, the event, which was scheduled to take place in July 2020, had to be postponed and unfortunately Michelle passed away before we could set a new date.
But Liv’s promise to her was that “the show will go on” and we’re so glad we were able to get 18e April 2022, which is Michelle’s birthday – and we’ll definitely have a party we’ll remember! “
Tickets for the “Howl for the Bowel” live event are available here.