Jack Whitehall on being the first person to get their Nando's black card revoked | mEats

Jack Whitehall revisits his student days in Manchester and his rise to fame over a meal at Higher Ground.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 5 June 2023

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Plenty has changed about our city since a baby-faced graduate of the prestigious Marlborough College first stepped out onto its streets. Not least Manchester’s food scene.

Take Higher Ground, for example — one of the latest prestigious additions to the city centre’s ever-expanding gastronomic landscape, the spot is known for a number of things. Not least the dishes and drinks. Hence rave reviews since opening earlier this year. 

It’s here we meet Jack Whitehall, a world away — or at least a half hour’s bus and ten minute walk — from the student eateries he relied on after relocating to the city. Arriving here under the premise of studying History of Art at the University of Manchester, but in reality always destined to pursue his love, stand up comedy, he’d quit the degree after a few months, but stay living in a shared Fallowfield house for much longer. If walls could talk. 

Inspiring at least some of his acclaimed sitcom, Fresh Meat, those heady days would see a lot of parties (including one in which the front door “went missing”), and see the Bad Education and Travels With My Father creator set up his own comedy night, Comedy Sluts, bringing the likes of John Bishop and Paul Sinha to New Wakefield Street’s Subspace, before making early forays into the world of TV (for which he was awarded a Nando’s Black Card, offering copious free meals, only to have it confiscated for use “not in the spirit of the offer”).

Suffice to say, with a growing list of movie credits, and now firmly established as a household name in British comedy terms, Whitehall’s doing well these days having got over that trauma. Sitting down to some fine food and refined refreshments with our own Matt White, for the latest instalment in our mEats series, he shares memories from that misspent youth, talks about weird dining experiences while out exploring the world, his upcoming tour and plenty more besides. Dinner is most definitely served, then. 


Jack Whitehall – Settle Down

Date: 21 & 24 June
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: AO Arena
Tickets: £25