Comedy star Jason Manford made sure his hometown got the first look at his new collaboration with Gary Barlow – a Christmas special of children’s cartoon Daisy and Ollie.

It was announced earlier this month that Take That star Gary would be the special guest in the Daisy and Ollie Christmas special – in which Jason stars as Daisy’s Daddy.

And Stockport-based Jason hosted a special premiere at the Savoy Cinema in Heaton Moor, ahead of the animation hitting TV screens for the first time on Saturday, December 1st on Cartoonito.

Stand-up star Jason’s appearance at the boutique cinema came just hours before his huge homecoming headline gig at Manchester Arena on Friday night.

Take That frontman Gary has been animated by the team at CHF Entertainment and will star as himself in the magical episode What’s so great about Christmas anyway?, singing a song written by Jason and the team.

The Christmas special follows Daisy’s Daddy (voiced by Jason), a musician and single father, as he is asked to write a Christmas single for the world famous pop star, Gary Barlow, who’ll be performing it at the town Christmas concert.

The ever-inquisitive friends Daisy (voiced by Sarah Hadland) and Ollie (voiced by Claire Morgan) are disheartened to discover that Daisy’s Daddy isn’t feeling the festive inspiration to write the song, which prompts them to try and restore his Christmas spirit by finding out what really is so special about Christmas.

Gary said: “I was absolutely thrilled when Jason asked me to be part of the Daisy and Ollie Christmas special, especially as a cartoon version of myself. It was great fun and a heart-warming show. I can’t wait to watch it with my family during the Christmas period!”

Jason adds: “It has been an exciting few months working with Gary Barlow on the Daisy and Ollie Christmas episode, and it has been an incredible honour to write a song for him to sing in the show. Bringing in a huge star like Gary brings that festive touch of sparkle a Christmas episode needs. I can’t wait for the viewers’ reactions when they see Gary in the show. The animators have done an incredible job creating his character – it looks just like him!”

Created by Helen Brown and produced by Wilmslow-based CHF Entertainment, with Jason as executive producer and writing many of the scripts, Daisy and Ollie originally launched on the Cartoonito channel in November 2017 and was an instant hit with parents and their pre-schoolers, quickly becoming the No1 show on launch.

BBC Radio Manchester star Chelsea Norris hosted a Q&A with Jason and the CHF team after the premiere at the Savoy Cinema, and Jason joked that he’d hoped to have a Christmas number one with the song.

“I did say to Gary at one point we should release it as a single but I think he’s a bit busy to be honest,” Jason laughed.

The Daisy and Ollie Christmas special episode, What’s so great about Christmas anyway? will air on Saturday 1st December at 10am on Cartoonito and will be available to download from Monday, 3rd December.

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