Peter Kay cancels stand up tour due to 'unforeseen family circumstances'
Peter Kay's first live stand-up tour in eight years has been cancelled due to "unforeseen family circumstances", the comedian has said.
In a statement, he wrote: "Due to unforeseen family circumstances I deeply regret that I am having to cancel all of my upcoming work projects. This unfortunately includes my upcoming stand-up tour, Dance For Life shows and any outstanding live work commitments.
"My sincerest apologies. This decision has not been taken lightly and I'm sure you'll understand my family must always come first.
"I've always endeavoured to protect my family’s privacy from the media. I hope that the media and the public will continue to respect our privacy at this time. Once again I'm very sorry."
The hotly anticipated UK and Ireland tour was due to begin in Birmingham in April 2018.
The popular comedian was set to perform six dates in Belfast between 13-20 January 2019.
Anyone who purchased tickets from Ticketmaster online or by telephone using debit or credit card will have their account automatically refunded within the next few days.
Customers who purchased tickets in person from a Ticketmaster outlet or venue will receive full refunds from their point of purchase from Thursday, December 14 at 10am.
The news comes weeks after Kay added extra performance dates to all listed cities, following huge public demand.
Kay became best known by the nation following his early 2000s TV creation, Phoenix Nights.
As well as writing both seasons of the hit Manchester-based comedy show, his alter ego, the beleaguered club owner Brian Potter, earned him legions of fans across the country.
He later made his television comeback with 2015 series Car Share, where, again, he took on the role of both penning the script and playing lead character, John.
The show, which pulled on viewer’s heartstrings as they watched his “will they, won’t they” friendship with Sian Gibson’s Kayleigh develop over two series, and won him two Bafta awards last year.
Fans were distraught when he announced that he would not be creating a third run of the show, but were delighted when he later promised two extra one-off episodes – including an improvised show and a finale.
Breaking the news during this year’s BBC One Children In Need 2017 appeal show, the 44-year-old said: “We knew we couldn’t end the story there.”
#CarShare won the Best Comedy award at last nights TV Choice Awards. Thank you to everyone who voted.— Peter Kay (@peterkay_co_uk) September 5, 2017
He also pledged his support to the charity by auctioning off tickets to a one-off intimate performance in Blackpool next summer, raising a total of £633,225.
An acclaimed stand-up comic, Kay’s 2018 live tour was to be his first in eight years following his record-breaking string of gigs in 2010.
Due to huge demand as the tickets went on sale last month, he announced an extension of the tour with extra performances in all cities.
Kay initially announced 26 dates across 2018 and 2019, kicking off in Birmingham in April 2018, but soon tripled the line-up to more than 80 shows, including 16 nights in Manchester.
Speaking of the prospect of returning to the stage, he said: “I really miss it. I know how lucky I am to be making television series and have really loved these past few years working on Car Share, but I miss doing stand-up.
“As terrifying as it is, when it works there’s nothing more fun and exciting. Plus, a lot has happened in the last eight years, with Trump, Twitter and my Nan getting her front bush trimmed at the age of 96.
“I can’t wait to get back up on stage.”
A Mancunian born and bred, he also took to the stage for the We Are Manchester concert in September, following the terror atrocity at Manchester Arena, where he worked as a steward when the venue opened in 1995.
He delivered an emotional speech before introducing singer Noel Gallagher, telling the crowd: “The victims will never, ever, be forgotten, but we’ve got to move forward with love and not hate, and that’s how we win.”
Among his earliest writing credits are That Peter Kay Thing in 2000 and Max & Paddy’s Road To Nowhere, featuring an appearance from Brian Potter.
Throughout his career, boosted by his 1996 North West Comedian of the Year prize, he has made special appearances in shows such as Doctor Who, ITV soap Coronation Street, Little Britain, The Catherine Tate Show and Inside No 9.
He is to married Susan Gargan and has a son, Charlie Michael Kay.
Belfast Telegraph Digital