Jason Manford hits back at Nightly Show critics as he takes charge as host

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Jason Manford has hit out at critics of The Nightly Show ahead of his first night as host.

The comic takes charge of the new ITV late night chat show this evening, which has replaced the News at Ten.

The move hasn't impressed many, but Jason pointed out: "At some point the news had to move. If the news was getting three million viewers it would not have moved."

He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Suddenly everyone loves the news. If all those people complaining about the news, if had watched it, it wouldn’t have got moved. That’s the crux of it.

“Now everyone is like ‘I love the news’. You ask them if they watched it and they say ‘no, but I still loved it’.”

Admitting he was "biased" as a host of the series, Jason continued: "It is an interesting format to do. I think what the Americans do that we don’t do, we focus on screen talent so we get a big name, in America they focus on the writing and the best writers and the funniest people in and get the script so it is perfect and then at some point deal with who is presenting it.

"But they make sure it is cutting edge subjects and throw money at writing.

“I read in the States 12% of the budget goes on writing in comedy and over here it is about 3%. It doesn’t sound a lot of difference but it is three times as much. That is where the battle is won or lost."

Last week saw ratings for the show on the up: Latest host Bradley Walsh's week averaged 1.6 million, the best numbers since week two with John Bishop and up around 500,000 viewers on the past two weeks with Dermot O'Leary and Gordon Ramsay.

The Nightly Show airs at 10PM, Monday to Friday on ITV.

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