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Peter Kay
Birth name Peter John Kay
Born 2 July 1973 (1973-07-02) (age 36)
Farnworth, Lancashire, England, UK
Medium Stand-up, television, film
Nationality British
Years active 1996–present
Influences Ronnie Barker[1]
Spouse Susan Kay (m. 2001–present) «start: (2001)»"Marriage: Susan Kay to Peter Kay" Location: (linkback:
Notable works and roles Phoenix Nights (2001–02)
Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere (2004)
Peter Kay Live at the Top of the Tower (2000)
Peter Kay Live at the Bolton Albert Halls (2003)
Peter Kay Live at the Manchester Arena (2004)

Peter John Kay (born 2 July 1973) is an English comedian, writer, producer, director and actor. His work includes That Peter Kay Thing (2000), Phoenix Nights (2001), Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere (2004), Britain's Got the Pop Factor... (2008) and other independent productions.


Early career

Peter Kay was born in Farnworth near Bolton, Lancashire, and attended Mount St Joseph High School, leaving with one GCSE in Art. He took several menial jobs, including working in a toilet roll factory, Netto supermarket, a Cash and Carry, and a Bingo Hall, which later inspired episodes or sequences in That Peter Kay Thing. He began a degree course at the University of Liverpool but was unable to cope with the written work and dropped out. He then attended the University of Salford where he studied for a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Media Performance, which he completed, this involved a stand-up course at which he excelled. His first stand-up was a competition in Manchester hosted by later co-star and co-writer of Phoenix Nights, Dave Spikey. Kay was last on the bill and won the competition, beating fellow stand-up comedian Johnny Vegas. His earliest appearance was an interview with Granada Television in which he listed the contents of his room, as well as detailing his experience meeting Jimmy Savile. This would later be used in That Peter Kay Thing in the role of Leonard de Tomkinson. Kay's experience working at the Manchester Evening News Arena inspired him to wear the official yellow jacket of the MEN Arena for the final performance of his Mum Wants a Bungalow tour Kay has said that he sought a career in comedy. During his time working as a cinema usher, he experimented with stand-up, participating in several local events as well as others at the Comedy Store in Manchester. After losing his job at the cinema, Kay was presented with the choice between finding another menial job or moving into comedy.

After he entered and won Channel 4's So You Think You're Funny contest in 1997, his first' semi-professional stand-up appearances were at the 1998 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he received a prestigious Perrier Award nomination. During this time, he also appeared at various other clubs such as London's influential Comedy Store and the Barracuda Club in Lincoln. Although this led to a certain level of public recognition, it was only after his heavily-promoted show Live at the Top of the Tower in 2000 that Kay attained mainstream recognition. During this period, he appeared on several chat shows, such as Parkinson and Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, where he had previously been a warm up man. Production also began on Phoenix Nights, which was to see him achieve critical acclaim as well as mainstream success. Subsequent advertisements, for John Smith's Bitter, which imitate the realistic style of Phoenix Nights, saw Kay develop his now much-repeated catchphrases "'ave it!" and "two lamb bhunas".

In 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 Funniest British Comedians and also edited one page of Nuts magazine. In addition, he made an appearance in a 2005 poll of comedians and critics to find The Comedians' Comedian, a search for the 50 greatest funnymen of all time. In March 2005 he also came top in a survey sponsored by the Jongleurs comedy club chain to find Britain's favourite comedian.

In 2004, Kay caused controversy with a joke about murdered television presenter Jill Dando. The Sun newspaper covered the story on its frontpage, labelling Kay as a "sick comic".[2]

In 2006, a Channel 4 television show 100 Greatest Funny Moments voted him at the Number 1 spot, most notably for his stand-up act, Mum Wants a Bungalow tour at the Bolton Albert Halls, including his description of a family wedding and Bullseye.

On 17 April 2006, Channel 4 broadcast a "Peter Kay Night", showing out-takes from Phoenix Nights (previously featured on DVD), a behind-the-scenes documentary of the Mum Wants a Bungalow tour and also the whole Peter Kay Live in Manchester show. During this evening, Kay was seen in character as Max (from Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere & Phoenix Nights) discussing the tribute with Paddy (Patrick McGuinness). Max stated that he disliked Peter Kay and thought that Channel 4 was going downhill for dedicating an entire night to him. Paddy wondered why ITV have not snapped up Kay. Max is shown to be ignorant of current events, failing to realise that civil partnerships are now legal and that Elton John has made use of it, to controversial news stories involving Michael Barrymore, Gary Glitter, Diana, Princess of Wales and Michael Jackson. Channel 4 repeated the "Peter Kay Night" on 25 March 2007 and again on 12 October 2008 which included Peter's new show Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice.


Kay's first TV project was in an episode of New Voices, a comedy series which showcased up and coming talent. His episode, "Two Minutes", written by Johanne McAndrew, saw him play a getaway driver as two of his mates attempted to rob a pub of its takings. This was broadcast in 1997. After appearing on BBC2's The Sunday Show presenting his own slot entitled "Peter Kay's World of Entertainment", Kay made an episode of Channel 4's The Comedy Lab, "The Services", in 1998. This served as a pilot for the later That Peter Kay Thing. His idea for this series was to create a testbed for ideas and concepts that he could later use within other series. The idea of having several characters all played by himself was something with which Kay experimented.

That Peter Kay Thing

After a favourable reception to the pilot, That Peter Kay Thing was devised. It was based solely on the experiences of Kay's earlier life working in several menial jobs. The range of characters included Brian Potter, who would go on to become the primary character in Phoenix Nights, and who Kay said was a combination of all his bosses' personalities along with the voice of a man he knows. The eccentric Leonard de Tomkinson is reputedly based on a real man named Leonard who used to visit Peter during his working time at the local Majestic Garage. Following the series' success, Kay and his co-writers, Neil Fitzmaurice and Dave Spikey, used the episode "In The Club" as the basis for Phoenix Nights.

Phoenix Nights

Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights was his notable TV programme, written by him, Dave Spikey and Neil Fitzmaurice and set in a newly refurbished social club run by wheelchair-bound Brian Potter. The club was based on an episode of That Peter Kay Thing entitled "In The Club". The cast of Phoenix Nights was made up almost entirely of stand-up comics whom the writers had met on 'the circuit'. The show was an immediate hit. It followed the story of the club and the various events that happened there. Expertly written, much of the humour was somewhat implicit – relying on subtle background clues and hints or paradoxes. The first series was partly filmed at St. Gregory's Social Club in Farnworth[3], Lancashire, where the exterior, hallways and function suite were all used. Other sets, such as the Jocky Wilson suite, were built at Granada Studios. For the second series, all filming took place at St. Gregory's.

Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere

Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere was a spin-off of Phoenix Nights. Featuring the bouncer characters from the show played by Peter Kay and Patrick McGuinness and even featured at times characters from Phoenix Nights. Notably this did not include the characters portrayed by his former co-writers Neil Fitzmaurice or Dave Spikey, the latter's character instead being represented by a body double in brief scenes.

Made for Channel 4 to be shown on a Friday, 6 episodes were made and broadcast from November to December 2004. The DVD of the series was released in October 2005, but unlike previous DVDs does not feature commentary from either Kay or McGuinness, instead opting for "surprise" commentators. In December 2005, a spoof workout DVD was also released, starring McGuinness and Kay, entitled Max and Paddy's: The Power Of Two. All the music was once again written (or co-written with Peter Kay) by Toni Baker who did all the music for Phoenix Nights & Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere.


Since 2002, Kay has featured in television advertisements for John Smith's beer (despite being teetotal [4]), through which the catchphrase—"'Ave it!"—gained popularity for an unceremonious hoof upfield in a football-themed advert.

He later claimed in his autobiography that he never meant to use "ave-it", he just said it after kicking the ball successfully.


Peter Kay has released two autobiographies called The Sound of Laughter and Saturday Night Peter.

Stage shows

He has also released several DVDs of live performances, including Live at the Top of the Tower, Live at the Bolton Albert Halls, Peter Kay: The Live Collections (the previous two combined) and Peter Kay: Live At Manchester Arena.

Kay appeared on stage at the Queen + Paul Rodgers concert at Manchester's MEN Arena (with Patrick McGuinness) and in Hyde Park in 2005 both as himself and in the persona of Brian Potter.

Kay also appeared at the BBC's televised charity event Comic Relief in 2003 and 2005, sharing the stage with Alan Partridge (actor Steve Coogan) in 2003. As part of the 2005 event, on 14 March Kay promoted a re-release of Tony Christie's 1971 hit "(Is This the Way to) Amarillo?". The song had earlier featured in Phoenix Nights, and Kay performed in the accompanying music video. On Sunday 20 March 2005, the single reached number one in the UK Singles Charts, and stayed there for seven consecutive weeks. In 2007 he released "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)", originally by The Proclaimers, with Matt Lucas for Comic Relief.[5]

Kay introduced British band James at V2007 and again the next year in Liverpool on their 2008 spring tour. He performed a short set and even wrote a request on the setlist, which the band performed as an encore. A recording of this is available on the limited edition Live in 2008 CD sold on the subsequent tour (listed as "a couple of extra bits").[6]

In November 2009 Kay announced that he will play four (later extended to 20) dates in Manchester in April and May 2010 with a tour entitled "The Tour that Doesn't Tour Tour.” The reason given for restricting the tour to Manchester only was so that Peter could remain close to his family. On 27 November 2009 during an interview on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Kay announced that, due to the demand and extra dates, the tour will most likely tour, jokingly renaming it The Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour...Now On Tour. Venues for tour include London's O2 Arena, Birmingham's National Indoor Arena, Cardiff International Arena, Sheffield Arena, SECC, Belfast Odyssey, Dublin The O2, Liverpool Arena, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, which will take place in November 2010 and April 2011.

Theatre work

From February 2007 Kay played flamboyant gay director Roger DeBris in the Mel Brooks musical, The Producers for the Manchester leg of the UK Tour, at the Manchester Palace Theatre until 12 May 2007. He reprised his role later in the year at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

He also appeared in the Royal Variety Performance 2008, which was staged at the London Palladium on Thursday 11 December.[7] He hosted 2009's Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool.


Kay's film appearances have included minor roles in, Going Off Big Time (1999) with Neil Fitzmaurice, 24 Hour Party People (2002), Roddy Smythe Investigates (2003) and The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse (2005). He also provided a voice to the character PC McIntosh for the film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005).


Kay also does the voice for the character "Big Chris" in the children's TV show Roary the Racing Car.

Guest appearances

In 2000, Kay guest appeared in one episode of the popular police drama Heartbeat playing a thief. He also sang at the end of the episode.

He has had two cameo roles in Coronation Street. The first, in the late 1990s, was a brief appearance as a shopfitter, but in January 2004 he co-wrote his own scenes, appearing alongside real-life good friend, Sally Lindsay, who played Shelley Unwin.

On 17 June 2006, Kay appeared in a Doctor Who episode titled "Love & Monsters". His character, the sinister Victor Kennedy, proved to be an alien called the Abzorbaloff in disguise.[8] Although the episode itself was quite comedic, Kay's role was more serious than those he normally plays.

Kay has also appeared twice alongside British band Take That, in An Audience with Take That and as Geraldine McQueen in Take That Come To Town. He also co-wrote The Winner's Song and Once Upon A Christmas Song with Take That member, Gary Barlow.

Talk shows

He has appeared on numerous chat shows, including Parkinson and The Paul O'Grady Show. When he appeared on The Paul O'Grady Show (ITV1) at Christmas 2005, he came on in a Christmas tree costume. For his second appearance with Paul on The New Paul O'Grady Show (Channel 4) he was dressed as a Catholic Nun wearing a large mask of himself, mimicking the front cover of his new book, The Sound of Laughter. At Christmas 2006 he made a third appearance, this time dressed up as a snowman. On his fourth appearance, on 5 June 2007, he came onto the set dressed as a chicken. He also co-hosted Top of the Pops in character as Brian Potter alongside Fearne Cotton in January 2006.

In September 2006 he co-presented the Edith Bowman afternoon show on BBC Radio 1 where he revealed that he had written a third series of Phoenix Nights. In addition two specials of Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere have been penned.

On 15 March 2007, he was the first guest of the inaugural recording of Danny Baker's All Day Breakfast Show.[9]

He appeared as a guest on the last ever Parkinson show on ITV on 16 December 2007, making a return to the programme on which he'd been a warm-up act years before. He hugged everyone on the show. He also brought with him a bag of 'goodies' including party hats and also a lollipop man's outfit as a joke for Parkinson's use during his retirement.

Another appearance on The Paul O'Grady Show, had him coming into the studio with the same exaggerated mask used on the cover of his autobiography Saturday Night Peter. The theme tune of Saturday Night Fever accompanied him, as well as the white suit also worn on the cover.


Despite having co-written Phoenix Nights with Dave Spikey & Neil Fitzmaurice, Fitzmaurice spoke of his dissatisfaction with Kay taking sole credit when he left their names off the script book. “I can only presume they took out all the bits Neil (sic) and I wrote,” Fitzmaurice said. Kay was also nominated for a book prize alone. Fitzmaurice added

"The only way I can explain it is that people are affected by fame in different ways. It was basically about a lack of respect, a lack of recognition for me and Dave."[10]

Spikey also criticised Max and Paddy saying "Hate to say it but pretty obvious, blatant, unsophisticated comedy for me. But, hey what do I know? It did very well and got nominated for a National TV award so I must be in the minority."[11].

In 2001, there was criticism of Kay following his depiction in both That Peter Kay Thing and Phoenix Nights (series one) of a fire safety officer called Keith Lard. The character seemed to have resemblances to a real-life fire safety officer called Keith Laird. Although the similarity was dismissed as coincidental, Channel 4 were forced to offer an apology and financial compensation to Mr Laird.[12]

Kay has also been criticised by fans for repeatedly re-releasing material from the same tour onto DVD.[13]


Year Song UK IRE EU
2005 "Is This the Way to Amarillo" (Tony Christie feat. Peter Kay) [14] 1 1
2006 "Sleep" (With Texas) 6
2007 "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" (as Brian Potter, with The Proclaimers and Andy Pipkin) [15] 1
2008 "The Winner's Song"1 2
"Once Upon A Christmas Song" 1 5 35
2009 "The Official BBC Children in Need Medley" (Peter Kay's Animated All-Star Band) [16] 1 6 5

^1 As Geraldine McQueen



  1. ^ "The secret of Barker's success". BBC News. 4 October 2005. Retrieved 22 September 2008. 
  2. ^ "The Guardian profile: Peter Kay". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2008. 
  3. ^ Bolton: there’s a new trail in town… Visit Manchester – The Official Tourism Site for Greater Manchester
  4. ^ The Guardian profile: Peter Kay
  5. ^ "Mutual Relief: Lucas and Kay join for charity single". Chortle. 17 November 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2006. 
  6. ^ "James Live in 2008 – The Album". We Are James. 3 December 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  7. ^ Press release announcing acts for the 2008 Royal Variety Performance
  8. ^ News Archives
  9. ^ Peter Kay iTunes
  10. ^ "PETER KAY BLASTED BY CO-STAR". Daily Star. 28 December 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2009. 
  11. ^ "You ask the questions – Dave Spikey". Chortle. 1 November 2005. Retrieved 7 March 2009. 
  12. ^ "Fire Officer Fumes Over Comedy". BBC News. 31 January 2001. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Is This the Way to Amarillo", A Charts
  15. ^ "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)", A Charts
  16. ^ Kay records Children in Need song BBC News, 9 November 2009
  17. ^ a b c "The Catherine Tate Show" Season 2 Episode 6 (2005)
  18. ^ Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  19. ^ "Doctor Who" Love & Monsters (2006)
  20. ^ "Roary the Racing Car" (2007)
  21. ^ Britain's Got the Pop Factor ...and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice (2008)
  22. ^ Peter Kay’s Children in Need single tops chart WalesOnline, 23 November 2009
  23. ^ Peter Kay announced as host for 2009 Royal Variety Performance

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Peter Kay (2nd July 1973 - Present) British comedian.



Live At The Top Of The Tower [2000]

In the Future

[imitating parents of the future]
You don't know you're born. All your mum and me used to have in the evenings was sky digital. Playstation, yeah. We used to have to manage with a car each, a car each! Your mam, she used to have a dishwasher! You don't remember - look at her face, you don't remember them, do you? She used to have take over all the plates, load them in, by hand, on her own! turn it on!


It's like Blackpool, but on speed. Las Vegas.

Holidays Abroad

Booked it, packed it, fucked off.

[on foreign food]
"Oh, no. Oh, thank you, none of that foreign muck. What? Garlic bread? Garlic bread? Garlic? Bread? Am I hearin' you right? Garlic bread? No, thank you, I've got some milk roll in t'case that'll do me. The toasty loaf. The garlic bread!"

Summer Holidays In England

Why do mums buy crap pop? Why? Why d'they buy it? They go t'supermarket on friday night, do the friday big shop. They come back. They never bu- Rola Cola. Rola Cola. Never Coca Cola, or Pepsi, Rola Cola. Panda Cola, or Streamway Cola. 8litres for 40-p. Crap pop. Shit pop. Pop you don't want.
"Get it drunk"
"I'm not drinkin' it"
"Get it drunk"
"I'm not drinkin' it, mum, I wouldn't wash me drains out wi' this, it's crap"
"Get it drunk"
"I'm not drinkin' it, it's horrible. It's too big an' all, it won't even go in t'fridge. Not only is it crap, it's warm. Warm crap pop. We got 18litres of it 'ere, we don't want any more, stop bringin' it home will you?"
"Only cost 40-p"
"I know but it taste rotten"
"There's children starvin' in Ethiopia"
"Send it to 'em. They'll send it back, they won't drink it, it's crap pop"
...once, right, I got so annoyed I started bangin' me 'ead against wall, batterin' me mind I said,
"Mum, drink it your F[ ]in' self"
...woke up, casualty. On a drip filled wi' Rola Cola, bar o' soap hangin' out me mouth.

Mum Wants A Bungalow Tour [2003]


[on Ferguson Video Star VCR]
If you were a lad, you couldn't watch a bit o' blue in t'middle of night, 'cause everybody could hear it fast-forwardin' about three streets away. So I've 'eard, anyway. You know?
"I'll be up in a minute, mum, I'm just gettin' a drink."
"Jesus! Shut up!"
"Shut up!"
"Shut up! Hiya, mum, y'alright? Mum, I'm stuck! It's got me! It's got me skin! It's got me skin!"


"Get your 'ands up, mother-stickers, this is a fuck-up!"

[on Crimewatch reconstructions]
You always have some manager, some right borin' manager narrating the reconstructions, he loves it.
"I usually arrive at work twenty-to eight, ten-to eight. Er. That particular morning, the morning of the robbery, they were doing, er, servicing works up by the round-about, and the dual-carriageway was gridlocked."
Get on with it, son, you're up against Bad Girls 'ere!
"I usually open up in the mornings when I arrive. Morning, Jean, that's wrong Jean's been locked in...morning, Jean"
"'Bout time an' all, been 'ere all night, thought you were never gon come. I daren't move in case alarm goes off"
"Where's Frank, he's late this morning?"
Proper wood-un. Frank comes on.
"As I was driving towards work, I noticed a small white transit van parked diagonally across both lanes. There were- drrbe! There were two men discussin' somethin'. I- dddrb! I don't know what it was, but they both 'ad sawn-off shotguns. Yeah. I couldn't, yeah. I couldn't quite see their faces clearly as they were wearing ski masks. I thought 'that's odd'. As it hadn't snowed in months."

I'm in Bolton, so I won't have to give me mum three rings to let her know I'm home safe. Do you do that? Give her three rings and after the second ring she picks it up. What's the point of that?
I was in Greggs t'other day and the woman said "Here y'are love, watch me juices". I said "Hey! I want a pie not your life story!"
If it's not one thing, it's your mother.
You ever dip your biscuit in your tea and it breaks. I swear now, you never get used to that.

Rich Teas should be called one dips. Hobnobs now there's a biscuit! Hobnobs are like marines. They're like "dip me! Dip me again! Again!"

That Peter Kay Thing

The Icecream Man Cometh

"We've you been been!"
"Ive been coming..."
"Yeah right, hand on a minute love"
"What is this, milk?"
"I came as quick as i could"
"Yeah, it looks like it an all."
"What the, what the fuck are theses?"
"They didn't have any Flakes."
"I wanted, I want Flakes, I cant make 99's with fuckin' Crunches can I?"


Garlic bread?
'Ave it!
I'm not homophobic. I'm not scared of my house.
Put big light on.
You wanna gerron t'internet
Where you going on your holdays? T'Egypt.

The list of quotes attributed to Kay on the popular "Peter Kay Truths" email are not from Kay but from other unknown sources. They have, in the past, been attributed to various other comedians, including Tommy Cooper.

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