Sing when you're grinning: Jason Manford and the resistible rise of dad-music

Who will be next in the major-label hunt to sign every two-bit TV mainstay?

In the past, the UK music industry has been criticised for not being inclusive enough. But finally: some breakthroughs for a hugely under-represented group – straight, white, middle-aged rich men are all getting a chance to be pop stars, because your mum’s favourites off the telly have all signed record deals. There’s the safe-for-dads comedian Jason Manford, who recently announced his debut album: a collection of lung-busting show tunes.

For people who find the music of Jack Johnson too aggressive, or Ed Sheeran too stressful, impressionist Alistair McGowan has a piano album out at the end of September. And EastEnders star Shane Richie has also signed a deal to release an “Americana album inspired by the contemporary country scene”, later this autumn. Get the sherry on standby: your nan’s going to be shocked come Christmas Day when she unwraps what she thinks is Alfie Moon singing MOR classics and actually gets Shane Richie trying to be Bob Dylan.

Clearly, a struggling music industry has realised the only people still buying CDs are mums in Tesco. The Chase presenter Bradley Walsh rules the dad-bore genre, with last year’s swing album Chasing Dreams outselling Zayn Malik’s debut, while Alexander Armstrong’s second collection sold so many copies, it was eligible for a Brit.

No joke ... Jason Manford plugs his new album.

So what next? An Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford Disney duets album, recorded in the afternoons after they knock off This Morning? The cast of Loose Women sing the songs from Wicked? Judge Rinder’s slightly problematic trap album, Straight Outta Southgate? Will Alan Davies ditch QI and revive nu-metal?

Or will we hear The One Show’s Matt Baker’s nu-rave side project, where he provides work for former members of Klaxons? Now out of regular employment, pop stars will be forced to take the jobs vacated by our new musical heroes. Liam Payne, nervously stuttering his way through the overly complicated rules of The Chase. Beyoncé playing a cheeky barmaid with a heart of gold behind the bar at the Queen Vic. Michael Bublé faking interest while interviewing the cast of Love Island on This Morning. Actually, he’d probably be all right at that.

All TV is terrible, all music is terrible, the only way to solve this is to burn all culture to the ground and start again. Let this be a warning to you, record companies handing out deals as if it’s a spot on the Good Morning Britain sofa. You think it’s just a dodgy swing album by a TV personality, but it could be the end of music as we know it.

Please don’t buy them


Issy Sampson

The GuardianTramp

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