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Jason Manford shares hilarious boxing training snap in Will Smith gag

Host Jason Manford on-stage during the 2022 Olivier Awards at London's Royal Albert Hall on April 10, 2022.
(Image credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for SOLT)

Comedian Jason Manford has tweeted a cheeky reference to that infamous Oscars 2022 moment that saw Will Smith slap Chris Rock after Rock joked about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Jason Manford was the lucky person selected to host this year's prestigious Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, April 10, one of the first major awards events to follow the live broadcast of the Oscars. There, he helped to celebrate the biggest achievements and performances in live theatre.

Today (Monday, April 11), he tweeted a photo of himself sporting some boxing headgear and gloves, with the caption: "Was training all week for #TheOliviers but alas it was not needed".

You can see the post below:

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Jason's followers clearly enjoyed the gag, as a few quickly started posting replies to let him know that he'd given them a giggle.

According to the BBC (opens in new tab), this isn't the only reference the Salford-born comic has made back to that jaw-dropping moment, either.

Before the Olivier Awards ceremony, Jason gave a short housekeeping talk where he explained how the evening would work for those in attendance. During those announcements, he told the audience: "There will be moments where I've got to fill a bit of time when they're changing the set. So I'll come out and have a chat with some of you guys in the audience. Please don't slap me in the face."

"I'm a comedian, and this is an awards ceremony, and those two things have not gone down well together lately", he said once the ceremony got underway. "So before we get into this properly, let me tell you, I think all your hair looks lovely, and I will very much be keeping your wives' names out of my chuffing mouth this evening. This is an evening of back-slapping, not face-slapping.

"The last thing I need is a slap in the face from the seven actors who played the tiger", he joked, referring to the stage version of Life of Pi which received several accolades including best new play during the night. 

The biggest winner from the evening was Rebecca Frecknall's revival of the musical Cabaret. It received seven awards throughout the night, including the Best Actor in a Musical award for Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore).

Martin Shore
Martin Shore

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.