EXCLUSIVE: Jason Manford enjoys post-gig Ramadan feast at a Muslim family’s house… after begging Facebook followers for an invite
Comedian and television presenter Jason Manford invited himself round to a Muslim fan’s house for a midnight end-of-fast feast.
Through his Facebook page, he appealed to his 336k followers for free food.
He said: ‘Is there any Muslims in the South Manchester area who when I get back from my gig tonight in Chesterfield fancy inviting me round for some of your lovely night time Ramadan grub? I’ve not been fasting but I’m well up for the late night eating part.’
Some were unsure if it was a joke and several made offers, which Jason declined as they were ‘too far’ away. He even quipped that he had to turn down one invite, as it was made by a United supporter.
But after performing his stand-up show, he returned to Manchester around midnight, where he dined with stranger Rabia Rana and family at her home.
The sacked One Show presenter, made infamous for his fleeting online relationships with female fans, had asked her on the social networking site ‘is there loads of you?’, to which Rabia replied: ‘There’s me, my hubby, my 3 kids, my bro lives next door to me, my uncle auntie and 4 cousins round the corner.
‘Im sure if you come there will more family members from Bolton beggin it. Lol. So am I putting my fancy towels out or what?’
Manford said he had messaged her and when she replied that she hadn’t received it, he told her to email his assistant who would sort it out, as he was about to go on stage.
Later his Facebook status read: ‘Driving back to Manchester with my little sister to join in with Rabia Rana and her family… Seeya in an hour! Purposely didn’t eat pre-gig! Nom nom nom!’
After the hearty meal, he posted a ‘thank you’ for the hospitality: ‘Never been so full! Will need to fast myself tomorrow! Thanks to Rabia and her family for letting me in to her home and sharing an amazing feast!’
When another follower suggested it was a publicity stunt, Manford replied on the thread: ‘Some people are so cynical’.
A fellow guest at the dinner confirmed it was spontaneous, defending Manford: ‘Who cares what the ignorant minority think. It wasn’t prearranged – believe me, I’d have had time to wash my hair, iron a nice dress and put more make up on if that was the case!’
They were observing Iftar – the meal that breaks the fast – and have invited Manford back for the festival of Eid.
Rabia said: ‘He was very polite, interacted wonderfully with my young kids, asked about our faith with genuine interest. It was brilliant. I love Ramadhaan! Such a loving and peaceful time this summed it up for me (sic).’
Jason explained that he had been discussing Ramadan with his sister in the car. ‘I thought it fascinating and I was hungry so bingo bango, I went to someone’s house for two hours, lovely company, great food and now having a food sweat!’
He has joked in the past that ‘the weather in Manchester is like the Muslims in Iraq – it’s either Sunni or it’s Shiite’.
Manford, who separated from his wife earlier this year, is currently touring the UK with his comedy show, ‘First World Problems’ and recently added extra dates for 2014.