Response to Jason Manford’s Gary Barlow/internet troll blog

by Jason Manford:

Well I woke this morning to see that lots of you had read my blog about Gary Barlow last night and a few had asked if I’d suffered a similar tragedy. I wouldn’t say it was similiar to then at all, i twas a lnog time ago, I was 17 I think but I did write about it in my book and found it very cathartic. Anyway I thought I’d cut and paste the rlevant chapter here for you if you’ve not already read it.



WHEN STEVE dropped me off at Laura’s, she was upstairs, alone. I couldn’t wait to tell her that this guy thought me and Steve were gay and about the toilet in the room. The one thing me and Laura shared was the same sense of humour; we made each other laugh all the time, it was the centre of our relationship. I went into our room and she was crying. My heart sank.

‘What’s up, sweetheart?’ I asked. ‘I need to talk to you.’ Oh God, I thought, not this again. I’d been broken up with once

already in my life, but I was an adult now, and this was the girl I was planning to spend the rest of my life with. I sat down and prepared to take it like a man. This time I wasn’t going to cry like a girl, or a baby, or a baby girl.

‘Go on then, what is it?’ I asked.

She handed me a Clearblue test. I didn’t even need to look. I knew what was happening.

‘I’m pregnant and it’s not yours.’

Chapter 23

When the Rain Starts to Fall

I’M ONLY MESSING, it was mine – I just thought it’d make that chapter end a lot more dramatically. I’d even like you to go back again and imagine the EastEnders drums after she said it.

I was half in shock and half over the moon, to be honest. OK, I might only be nineteen but my mum had had two by that age. If anything I was a late starter. I was never one of these guys who was terrified of fatherhood. I think parenting suits a younger couple, all that running around in the park and staying up till all hours changing nappies. I don’t fancy that when I’m an old man. The only nappy I want to be changing by then will be my own.

We hugged and worked out how to tell our parents. I wasn’t too concerned about mine: for one they wouldn’t have a hypocritical leg to stand on and my mum had just had another baby herself. I was more worried about telling Mary and Laura’s family but we’d been together a few years and we weren’t kids any more.

The plan was I’d finish the year at university and then get a job in an office or a call centre to support them both. We started looking at flats and baby seats and cots; we had everything circled in the Argos catalogue before I’d even told my nana.

We went to the doctor’s and they did all the tests. We were six weeks already. I say ‘we’, I mean Laura obviously. I went on stage a few nights later and just thought, sod it, I’m gonna tell the world.

‘So, I’m going to be a dad, everyone.’ The crowd cheered and it felt fantastic. Our parents were great and everyone was really supportive. They

could see we were in love and I genuinely couldn’t wait. Every day was like Christmas Eve. I put my ear to Laura’s tummy each morning hoping to hear something or feel a kick from my son or daughter, but it was much too early for any of that.

Laura was a bit more cautious and tentative about the whole thing at first. She told me to calm down on countless occasions and I tried, I really tried, but I was in Mothercare weeks before our three-month scan, working out if our student loan would pay for one of those fancy three-wheeler buggies that all the cool dads were pushing around.

Maybe I got carried away. Maybe I just wanted it too bad.

One night we were lying in bed, laughing as usual over something or other. I was planning on turning Mary’s room into a nursery and shipping her off to an old folks’ home – the usual things sons-in-law say behind their mother-in-law’s back. I looked at Laura as she laughed and at that moment I couldn’t have loved anyone any more.

‘Thank you.’ ‘What for?’ she said. ‘You know what for – for this, for giving me this, this baby,’ I said, tears filling my eyes. ‘You daft sod, you won’t be saying that when it’s 3am and you’ve got poo under your fingernails.’ ‘I will, I bloody will, I promise. You will never once hear me complain about baby poo under my fingernails.’ We laughed and fell asleep in each other’s arms. I had a smile so wide I thought my face would rip.

A few mornings later, I woke up to an empty bed. The sun slipped through the gap in the curtain and the dust danced in the beam. I yawned, smiled and stretched my arm to the other side and felt nothing. I rolled over to see where she was. But there was nothing. Her pillow was cold. So was my leg. I could hear crying coming from the bath- room. As I pulled the covers back, I realised what had caused the tears.

I felt like we cried for weeks, just the two of us in that room, mourning a child that we never knew, would never know. People offered their condolences but with the occasional moment of clarity it seemed so ridiculous.

‘I’m sorry for your loss.’

What loss? We never saw them, or held them, or heard them cry. The only person that had died was someone I’d created in my head. It was the strangest, most upsetting feeling of my life. I can’t even describe it properly, but my immediate feeling was that this was all my fault. I’d built it up so much and not even considered Laura’s feelings. I didn’t know if she was worried or excited about having a child. I self- ishly just couldn’t wait to be a dad.

We hardly left the house for weeks, I just held Laura on our bed – and when we did I would get sick of hearing the same things from people.

‘You can always get pregnant again.’ That’s hardly the point, is it? You wouldn’t say that if your kid was ten, would you? I know I’m being silly comparing a foetus to an actual child, but honestly that’s how it felt. Maybe I’m not being silly, maybe that’s how you should feel. It would be a pretty cold heart that said, the day after, ‘OK, love, let’s have another try then.’

A few weeks later and I felt like I couldn’t cry in front of Laura, even though every time I saw her I was reminded of what I’d put her through, what I’d caused. I felt like I had to be strong for her so I didn’t cry when I was with her, and soon, I stopped crying altogether.

Laura’s friends rallied round her and took her out every night to take her mind off things, but I didn’t have anyone. I’d only just met Steve so I couldn’t lumber him with this. Lucy was in Newcastle at university, ironically doing midwifery, and anyway I’d not spoken to her properly for months. My parents were great but they had two babies in the house and I couldn’t bear to see any kids at that time. It’s crazy now when I look at my little brother Niall to think I could have a son or daughter that age. It’s also terrifying to think how differ- ent my life would’ve been.

While Laura was out getting drunk with her university friends, I was trying my best to get on with things. I had a few gigs in the diary but I wasn’t in the mood for making people laugh; I don’t think I even smiled during those dark months.

I did a gig for my family, which was not a good idea. Don’t ever do a gig in front of people that have changed your nappy and don’t mind telling you about it. It was a charity gig for a hospital ward that had looked after my nana.

As my uncle introduced me on to the stage, I knew my heart wasn’t in it. There’s nothing worse than seeing a comedian on stage who doesn’t want to be there. An audience can sense it. My jokes felt hollow and pointless. Of course most comedians’ jokes are hollow and pointless, but there was no magic spark, and it just felt mechanical. I didn’t want people to laugh, I didn’t care if they laughed or not. I did about three minutes and no one was listening anyway so I put the mike down on the floor and just left.

It’s not something people think about, I suppose. How is a comedian supposed to make people feel good when he doesn’t feel good himself? Well, some comedians can channel it and still create gold. Tony Hancock was a manic depressive and created some of the funniest comedy I’ve ever heard, but he ended up drunk and alone, eventually committing suicide. His suicide note read: ‘Things just seem to go too wrong too many times.’ I think we can all relate to that.

I’m not saying I was anywhere near suicide, of course. God, no, I don’t even know how to work the oven. But I was in a dark place and couldn’t see a way out. I thought after I’d got mugged I’d felt bad, but it didn’t compare to this. I was angry with the world, every- thing annoyed me. Laura came in drunk one night at 4am and I was just sitting up in the darkness, wide awake, waiting for her, like a bloody weirdo.

‘What fucking time do you call this?’ I was fuming. I’d created a world in my head where this girl who I loved with all my heart had lost our baby and now didn’t care. I blamed myself and I blamed her, I blamed everybody and everything, I couldn’t make sense of it. Why would anyone take this off me? Why couldn’t I have what a million people have by accident every day?

But Laura did care. She cared more than she was letting on. We stopped spending time with each other and, for a while, stopped sleeping in the same bed. When we did see each other it was fleeting, as if we thought that if we avoided each other the inevitable wouldn’t happen.

One night I came in from another terrible gig where I’d called a completely undeserving audience member a ‘fat fucker’ because he’d got up to go to the bar while I was talking, and had lost the audience again. The club owner told me to leave and said he wouldn’t be book- ing me again, but I couldn’t have cared less. Comedy was by wankers, for wankers. It was for people who had nothing to say beyond spouting their stupid jokes. There’s more to life than telling a room full of people a stupid story with no consequence or point. And who the hell were these people who didn’t have enough imagination of their own to come up with some funny ideas themselves that they had to pay someone to do it for them? I began to hate it.

My last gig, and at the time I really felt like it was my last gig, was a Christmas show for the Daily Sport. I mean, already you’re thinking, wow, Jason, that sounds like a classy do. Well, it gets worse: I was the comic booked to do twenty minutes of stand-up to a group of pissed- up journalists who spend their day writing daft news stories to belie the fact that their paper was essentially little more than a porn mag.

I wasn’t the only act on the bill, although I was the only comedian. I was to follow a well-known ‘variety act’ called Mr Methane. Now if you’ve never heard of this guy, then put this book down for two minutes, log on to YouTube and type in his name, then come back.

OK, what did you think? Yeah, dog shit? Well, this audience thought he was hilarious. He stood on stage in his green superhero outfit and farted the National Anthem into the microphone for twenty minutes. To this crowd, it was up there with Tommy Cooper and Bob Monkhouse; they were crying with laughter. I was standing at the back of the room, looking on in horror. I knew two things: one, this was the worst thing I’d ever seen on stage (and I’ve seen Phil Collins live), and two, I was definitely not using the same microphone as that dirty bastard.

I was nineteen and felt too good to be there: not a good character- istic in a comedian. I was rude and obnoxious and I hated every person in the room and hated every second I was on stage. I actually tell a story in my show now about a heckle that happened on this night.

Because I was so young, this one guy shouted, ‘Where’s your pubic hair?’ and his mates fell about laughing as if it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen since a man trumped ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’ about five minutes earlier.

Now, in my stage show I say, ‘So I said, “In your wife’s teeth,”’ which is a brilliant response. But it never happened. It’s one of those responses the French call l’esprit de l’escalier, or ‘the wit of the stair- case’, a smart response you only think of on the way out when it’s too late to be of any use. We’ve all done it: someone says something, you can’t think of anything to say back, but an hour later in the car you’re replaying the scene in your head and it comes to you, the perfect retort. Well, the good thing about being a comedian is that when we retell the story we can get rid of the hour in between and make it all seem like one moment.

What actually happened was he heckled, they laughed at me, I got angry, threw the stinking mike on the floor and walked off. It would be the last gig I did for almost two years. Now I knew what it was like to die on stage.

I got home to Laura and felt like a walking ball of rage, that at any moment I could snap and say or do something I’d regret. Stinking of smoke and curly fries, I got into bed.

‘It’s changed me,’ she whispered. ‘What has?’ I said. ‘This thing, this thing that happened to us, it’s changed me.’ I could tell she’d been crying for hours. In all the anger and depression and the feeling sorry for myself, I’d not even thought that she would still be upset. She’d seemed so care- free, like it was a burden lifted and she could go back to enjoying the last few months of her teenage years. But of course, that was her mech- anism for dealing with it. We’d not spoken about it for months. I thought I was being there for her, by holding her when she cried, but I realised I was never there at all, neither of us were. We’d gone some- where else to protect ourselves.

I turned the light on and looked at her and my heart was empty. I loved her more than anything in the world but just looking at her made me remember. She was looking at me in exactly the same way. I held her again and we fell asleep, silently sobbing in each other’s arms. It would be the last time.

The next day I left. Laura had cornered me in the kitchen while I was washing up. ‘It’s not working, Jace.’ ‘I know.’ ‘I think we keep reminding each other of it.’ And she was right. Every time I looked at her I pictured myself in a park with a faceless child running and laughing in the warm breeze. But that wasn’t going to happen now. I would never have left if she hadn’t have told me to; I knew I didn’t have it in me. But the rela- tionship had collapsed under the weight of itself and Laura had done the hard part and set us both free.

Originally published on Facebook


53 thoughts on “Response to Jason Manford’s Gary Barlow/internet troll blog

  1. Well said Jason, I agree with you 100%. Gary Barlow was so courageous last night It made me cry to think of the pain he and his wife must be in right now. It doesn’t matter how old a child dying is it is the wrong way around to lose your own child. These people have no compassion, empathy or any soul and are not worth air time.

  2. Well said Jason, how could anyone ever think let alone write something down like that. These people have no hearts obv as it must have been so hard for Gary to even stand infront of the thousands in the stadium and millions at home watching on the tv let alone sing such a touching song that really represents himself and his wife. Gary you are a very brave man and you have the support of so many people. My thoughts are with you and your familly x

  3. Jason, this is the first time I’ve read one of your blogs and it won’t be the last. I am a mother to a 2 year old who almost died in child birth. I am currently 21 weeks pregnant mother (which is what I am already to this child, their mummy, that happens as soon as you see that blue line) who is eagerly awaiting the next kicks or even tiniest signs of life as reassurance that everything is ok. The nights spent awake wondering what they’ll look like, hormanally crying as you perhaps irrationally wonder if they’ll be bullied at school or have an illness later down the line. Like you say, the plans you make for your future as a family. In some ways, I think the worry for the fathers can be somewhat worse, given they are totally out of control.

    I just thank god that you have more influence and following than the idiot people who replied to your original post.

  4. People are far to quick to pass comment on other peoples lifes. Everyone deals with loss in their own way. This has had to be the worst week of Gary Barlows life, by doing something positive, it will not change what has happened to his family, but will maybe bring a smile to his other childrens faces, a happy memory, a part of history and a moment to escape for him.
    At the same time not everyone would have chosen to go out on stage after such a loss, but you have to respect it is individual choice, it is not about what has happened but about how you deal with what has happened and finding away to work through that.
    Everyone has the entitlement of opinion, of airing their views, I just think people are too quick to judge and should wait until they have walked a day in that persons shoes before they post such negative comments.

  5. I so agree with you in all of this .. and as for person D and your post after…well I’m still crying.. Because as we all know from the minute we know we are having a small human to join us ( even us nanmas or gramps to be) we love that small human and even then it brakes our hearts when we lose them @ 6,8 or 12,16 wks and it’s just the same when we lose them @ birth, 3months, a yr or 8yrs or 28 yrs … No person D has no bloody idea ..want to ask my sister, her hubby, my sister-in-law or daughter-in-law, my mate or me … in all stages we’ve lost our child/children and it hurts forever .. I’d so love to meet D !! … lol prob best not though.

    The Barlow family will carry on, ( as we all have too) . But not forget Poppy nor get over her death .you learn to live with it and the fear stays in each pregnancy from then on.. they will be blessed next time … But no he didn’t leave her/let her down in time of need , she’s done just what you said ..told him to go and do the song for them and us all.. So the other people need to walk in The Barlows shoes before saying the cruel stupid comments … gosh I think I could shake some people..

    Maybe D should come with me to work… learn afew things like love, caring and tolerence and oh to realise we all deal with life/grief differently.

    sorry rant over :O)

  6. Thank you Jason, superbly written. As a mother myself I cannot begin to even think about the pain the Barlow family must be feeling, and for Gary to have performed at the closing ceremony must have taken a hell of a lot of courage. You could see the pain in his eyes when singing “you light the sky up above me, a star so bright you blind me” he is an amazing man, and my heart goes out to the Barlow family. I wish I could give them a huge hug. RIP Poppy Barlow and God bless her family xxxx

  7. well said jason,i dont like take that,never really took any notice of most of their songs,BUT just watching them last night you can tell he was there for the public but singing that song for his family.

  8. OMG… I just shed a tear!
    Fabulous post! Sums up what having a child is all about!
    RIP Poppy Barlow. Your mum and dad both love you and dad made the nation sing while mum helped him to do something that he had said that he would… for all of us!
    Jason… a legend and the best post ever!xxx

  9. Thank you for this post, as a mother who has gone thru this 5 years ago, it broke my heart all over when i read the news about Garry’s little girl. Our little boy was born sleeping and it was the most heart rending painful experience that we ever lived thru. My mother once told me that we were not meant to outlive our children, and it is so true. we can as a whole accept when our loved ones pass at older ages as its the natural procession, but to hold your child in your arms and knowing there is no tomorrow is one of the hardest things that any one will ever have to bear. we are now expecting a baby in a few weeks and my 9 year old son has distanced himself from the baby, as he does not want to become emotionally involved with her until after she is here, as he is terrified that she is going to die as well. how do you explain deep emotions to a young child that remembers the birth and death of his brother, and remembers what the event did to his family?
    as far as Garry Barlow as a husband.. i do not personally know what their relationship is, but it does not make him a bad husband or person to work after the tragedy. how many people the world over both mothers and fathers would be back at work the next day or days after because they had no choice? also, sometimes its even better to get out and do something normal.. it tears at the soul when you sit in the house thinking.. letting it eat and you and all you can do is wonder.. what could i have done dif? what did i do wrong? was this my fault in some way?
    as for the man who spoke about her being still born instead of older.. not even a year later, my cousins little boy who was nearing three died suddenly in her arms at hospital due to a cisk that ruptured his bowels.. we shared our grief… we felt the same grief.. its true she had more memories of her sweet little boy.. but it made it no less painful.. and it prob. helped some.. as we spoke as we could laugh, and remember a lot of the cheeky things he did. a parents love is endless… and the grief of loosing a child has no time limit.. my thoughts and prayers go out to the Barlow family as it does to all families who find themselves in the horrible situation of loosing a child..

  10. How powerful words can be. They have the power to be cruel and hurtful when used by fools. Then, like the words of admiration and empathy you used in support of Gary Barlow and his wife, they have the ability to portray great love and tenderness. Your recognition of his appearance at the closing ceremony of the Olympics Games only a matter of days after losing their baby daughter Poppy would have, I believe, brought them a great deal of comfort.
    I’ve always admired your work, you have one of the most rewarding talents in the world………..the talent to make people laugh. I’m sure in many cases you enable them to induldge in escapism for a while and enjoy the feeling of euphoria a good laugh gives.
    I was sickened when I read of the thoughtless ‘comments’ that pathetic morons posted under your kind words.
    I found myself on a forum being one of the few people defending Gary Barlow a few months back. I’m not some lovestruck teenager rofl, I have seven Grandchildren and I’m the wrong side of 50, however these ‘evil trolls’ or just plain ignorant people who spout venom before they put their brain (if they have one in working order) into gear or even have all the facts really get my back up.
    Gary does, as you say, do an enormous amount of charity work. It’s certainly true if you’re a celebrity doing charity work, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
    This is the first time I’ve read your Blog, but it will not be the last. Take care. (I hope I haven’t bored you to death)

  11. Some people are just spectacularly stupid and unthinking. I never cease to be amazed how many people don’t understand that I love my adopted child just as much as my birth child.

  12. I have especially registered with WordPress just so that I could leave you this message: that is, hands-down, one of the best and honest pieces I have read. I am sure that you have done some material that has made you proud in the past, but I regard this as a lifetime-piece moment. Well done to you as a man and Dad.

  13. lost my child after 25 days (6 years ago), when u have held ur child in ur arms and watched her pass away in front of u, all noise stops, the people who mock ur post and gary barlow are that, just noise…sometimes I think had no chance to get to know her, no happy memories, but simply holding her hand becomes a truly magical memory for me…dont want sympathy, never replied to a post in my life, stuff can always be worse, do not get wrapped up in yourself and see what life brings, cant change the journey, can choose how we respond, got a redundancy meet today, but my perspective is different to others so know life continues somehow….enjoy

  14. well said there are so many self less idiots in this world all the ones that have put them silly stupid childish immature comments need to look at the way there life’s are led as the comments are arr enders and its upsetting that people can think that Gary Barlow is a human being just like all off us where all equal and should have the same respect he as got fame and well deserved and he also is a human that has the same feelings as any other human being he is a good man and should be left alone at this bad time he might of wanted to do the Olympics good for him every body has different ways of dealing with things i no i been through it he famous so what he is no different he has hands and feet brain and feelings leave him alone the mind less low life’s that put sick comments about him and well said Jason look forward to seeing you again in hull

  15. What a brillaint piece of writing…the last few sentences gave me goosebumps. It’s about time someone put these evil f*ck wits in their place. Ever heard the saying ‘if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all’, no one wants to here your grotesque inconsequential opinions….Go Jason!

  16. Well done Jason brilliant piece of writing, I just can’t think what comes over people who could even think the way they did let alone put it down for others to see. I am a fan of Gary Barlows, and I am now a fan of yours, well done mate.

  17. Facebook gives us the opportunity to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ things posted on it. Not much more than a weak gimmick, really, and neither are buttons I have been overly drawn towards pressing in the past. In all honesty, I’m not a big facebooker. If I had pressed one of these buttons regarding Jason’s blog about the Barlow trolls, I would have gone for ‘dislike’. Why? Because I do dislike the whole article. Not because I disagree with the views he expresses regarding the stupid responses upon which he comments, but simply because he felt the need to have to make them. He was right in all he said, in my opinion, I just find it inexorably sad that we live in a world where folk such as those Jason refers to with alphabetical anonymity feel the need to share with the world their own inadequacies. Well said, Jason. Dislike!

  18. A wonderful, thoughtful piece of writing that the trolls will not understand or appreciate. Well said Jason. Gary Barlow did a very difficult thing to support the nation and I’m sure his wife was behind him all the way. Many thanks Jason for supporting a fellow performer. I salute you both.

  19. it is the best piece of writing i have read in years and i have tears running down my face, i totally agree with what you have said here and i for one have the upmost respect for Gary Barlow for being strong enough to do the closing ceremony i couldn’t have done it myself i just wish people would leave him alone, most of people criticising him have never been through anything like this or met him, i have friends that HAVE been through it and i saw what it did to them but everyone has their own way of dealing with personal tragedy so show him some respect and fu*kin leave him alone

  20. people are heartless but they are usually the ones that accuse others of behaving the way they would themselves. Im pretty certain Gary did not want to perform but he wouldnt want to let anyone down especially for such a prestigious occasion. you could tell by the song choice and the crack in his voice at the beginning that his lost little girl was very much on his mind. The words were amazingly appropriate. I hope he and his family find peace in their hearts but NOONE can know how and what they think or feel as everyones experiences are different.
    NIcely said though Mr Manford.

  21. So well said Jason, some low life just make you sick. My family have had the hardest year this year following 2 baby deaths a 15 month old baby and a 21 week pregnancy so we know how hard it is to get out of bed following this let alone get up on stage, My thoughts are with Gary and his family. If you cant say something nice then dont bother saying it and maybe this world will be a nicer place.

  22. Well done Jason.
    What a wonderful response to an absolute moron. Rich or poor, famous or not, a tragedy like this puts us all on the same level. Brave is the word for both Gary and his wife, and I for one appreciate their bravery. The song was very appropriate and touched my heart.

  23. what a brillent and heart flet peace of wrting ive not got children but some if the comments ive read are disgraceful a freind of mine lost a stil born child at 9 months all she as are the memories and a photo if her ther are some awful ppl out there

  24. Mr Manford I salute you – the stupidity and cruelty of some people never ceases to amaze me and I hope that your response to them hits home, but I seriously doubt it. You can’t teach empathy, sympathy or decency to morons but good effort on your part..

  25. As a parent myself, I would never judge a person on their job whether I liked them or not, at no point is it ever acceptable to criticise someone when they’ve had such a horrid loss in their family, so to anyone who says otherwise, to hell to you, I think Mr Barlow was exceptional for going onto stage, and I think his wife would have given her full blessing.

  26. Jason I could not have said it any better but will say this He didn’t let his family down as the closing ceremony was booked months ago and he was committed to fulfill his contract for which TAKE THAT was paid the HUGE amount of £1 of which he will receive nothing as his manager will need to be paid for setting up the gig then his legal fees for that contract will need to be paid so I has cost him to do it for his Country of which he has supported on may of occasions and admirably at that. His wife and children no doubt told him to do it and the picture of them bowing shows the strain on his face. I say to the Trolls show your face and see if you can man up to your responsibilities because nothing is worse than hiding away were no one can see you just like a child Jason mate greatest respect to you and all those who have helped support Gary through his hard and painful times I also know that after passing a certain stage of pregnancy the choice is taken away so his family may have been aware of the fact his child’s health would mean the outcome BUT his wife still had to go through with the Full Term of the pregnancy even though it doesn’t make the pain go away the shock has been removed.

  27. Thank you Jason for writing such heart wrenching words, I’m still crying. As a mother myself I could not have said it better of all the fears, excitement, worry and joy both parents go through before baby is born. My heart goes out to the Barlow family, I could not think of a more devastating situation for any family to go through and then as you put it…… “nothing”…….so so sad. I love Gary and all he stands for, he is a wonderful human being I hope they all pull through – lots of love to them all xxxxx

  28. Thank you Jason for sharing your intimate experience. As a mum of 4, I have never lost any of them [fortunately], however it helps me to be empathetic with the Barlow’s and you. D obviously has not had any children and quite frankly people like him/her need to be ignored. Gary going on stage, kept his word/promise to do the gig. And for one night only he was away from his family, as you said, his grief will last a long time. That man has gone up in my estimation.
    You have shown another side of you as well. Well done.

  29. My thoughts and prayers are with Gary and his family,I really dont know how people could be like this to others who are suffering i feel there is something wrong with them they are not human tell gary he got a older fan last year when i saw him on the X factor he looks just like my son in law and he was loverly to the people on the show never to rud with them he felt for them and as for you young man im pleased you have said what needed to be said you also have a older fan starting from today godbless xxx

  30. Jason Manford you are a real man this made me cry so much and i hope all those people read what you wrote and have had a good look at themselves what you wrote is so true from the moment you see those blue lines that little person takes over your every thought and reason for living thank you x

  31. Brilliant piece Jason, this is what is needed someone like yourself and other celebs or any person who are in the limelight or people look up too, to speak out and give people insight into such a tragedy. For too long now the loss of a baby in the womb or soon after has been trivialized, Comments of this nature are not unusual, ie Well at least your child died before you got to love it, or You can always have another one ( would a comment like this be made to a Widow), or At least you have got your other children ( would one make this comment to a person who has lost one of their parents ?) or is the??? kids you have not enough ( would this comment be made to parents with a family of more grown children?) or its Nature’s way comment, ( Its natures way,so is terminal illness or a natural disaster ! but would it dare be said?).

    As anyone who has lost a baby at any stage in Pregnancy or soon after would know the lyrics of that song fit perfectly for this kind of Death, Yes this is a death of a human being of whom,s parent’s will grieve in the same way as if the child had lived and walked the earth, or had it been a one of your parents, or a dearly loved relative or friend. The only difference is there is no happy memories.photograths or stories to tell of that persons life and In a lot of cases no funeral or no place to go and lay flowers.

    I knew instantly Gary was singing with all his heart that song for Poppy and it made me sob for him as it would for any other parents i never knew or met who have suffered in this way. . I can hear people say the song was already chosen months ago, but believe me, nothing happens by coincidence!. If your blog and other celebs speak out about this sort of tragedy and it changes the compassion and long term care received for those who suffer as such , then little Poppy did not die in vain.
    I hope God in his wisdom will give back something for Gary & Dawns suffering and everyone else who has had to endure such a painful journey.
    Love & light XX
    A Mum of 10 + 5, babies who grew wings (5, 6 ,8,11 & 12Th pregnancy,s)

  32. ok,got to say.Jason that was probably one of the most nicest,heartfelt things i have read.god bless you all the Barlow family.and any one who has had the same happen to them.i have 7 children and could not understand where them morons get off with the total bollocks they were waffling. makes me so angry.i am actually trying to think of words to describe the comments left.just scum bags

  33. Well I have to say I am so impressed by your writing, comments and thoughts. I feel inspired to get a copy of your book. You are a really great guy. Sadly there will always been people in this world who are so damn cras. It is always so frustrating – well no, more gives you the urge to grab the nearest pitchfork and shove it up their ass ish.. – rather than just frustrated. I have had 8 miscarriages and whilst I need no sympathy I appreciate empathy. I had a few smart alecks who told me to stop as I was bringing it on myself – well I would smile sweetly and like the cartoon on my facebook page “whilst I might be smiling at you – in my head I have killed you three times already”! – I have 4 children, my only daughter born after all the hassle – she is now 15 and is very special to me – It was my choice to do what I did, and to persevere becuase it was important to me – we all need to be respected to make our own decisions and deal with our personal crap in a way that works for us. These presumptious ignorant twats will gets theirs one day and maybe then will learn the error of their comments and thoughts. Any professional worth his or her salt will totally understand why Gary did what he did and will admire him for it. If I was his wife I would not be the least bit impressed by someone second guessing how I felt about my husband or any other personal aspect of my life. My heart goes out to them, it was a horrendous thing to endure and I totally admire Gary and his family for giving – yet again – to this country. I suspect the decision to perform was made together – but well done you for coming back so eloquently – you have my admiration too !

  34. I’m so sorry for you loss all those years ago, and that you got through it at all shows intestinal fortitude. And hats off to you for your compassion.

    On a lighter note, I’m with you: Mr Methane is insufferable, and I think the only way he could possibly be funny is if he accidentally shat himself onstage and then walked off mortified.

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