Bolton comedian Peter Kay has cancelled his first UK arena tour in eight year due to “unforeseen circumstances within his family.”
Kay said that he was “very sorry” today after it was announced that he had cancelled every date on his hugely anticipated new arena stand up tour that would run from April of next year until 2019.
The surprise announcement has shocked hundreds of thousands of fans who had been desperate to see the comedian perform on stage again for the first time in nearly a decade, as fans from across Britain and Ireland waited eagerly to see the 44-year-old comedian.
Kay was due to perform his new stand up act for more than 100 nights from next April until March of 2019 in pretty much every major city in the UK and Ireland, including Glasgow, Birmingham, London, Manchester and Dublin.
In a statement, he said that he “deeply regrets” having to cancel all of his upcoming work, but he also said that “my family must always come first.”
The statement reads: “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. I’m very sorry.”
“Customers for Peter Kay’s Live Arena Tour and Dance for Life shows will be refunded from their original point of purchase and any specific and any specific ticket queries should be directed to them.
“As Dance for Live is a charitable event in aid of Cancer Research UK, ticket holders may, if they wish, still donate to Cancer Research UK by visiting www.cancerresearchuk.org.”
Fans shared their disappointment over the announcement but they were also supportive of the comedian’s decision, offering support for Kay and his family.
Fellow comedian Jason Manford simply tweeted: “Family first xx.”
Tickets have been selling like the proverbial hot cakes, with many of the tickets selling on resell websites for up to £2,000 with fans desperate to see the much-loved comedian’s first tour in eight years.
And with Peter Kay saying on the Jonathon Ross show on ITV that he doesn’t live doing stand up, and that this would have probably been his last tour, that doesn’t bode well for the likelihood of Peter Kay ever returning to the stage.
He said: “I don’t like it! I do like it, but it’s terrifying standing on a stage in front of 14,000 people trying to make them laugh. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
“I like it, but once in a blue moon. I should have called the tour that, Once In a Blue Moon. I don’t think I’ll do another after this, I’m getting on now.”
Kay, whose new tour was called Have Gags, Will Travel, added: “It’s ideal for the old mum and dad, nan and grandad, very clean. I do a family show.
“If my mum or my wife says that something isn’t funny, I know I’ve struck gold. They said the monkey wasn’t funny in Car Share, they said ‘You can’t do that’…
“They just said it was stupid and would never happen. They had to train this monkey for three weeks to wear sunglasses and eat Werther’s Originals.”
More than 1.2 million people came out to see Peter Kay performed live in his last stand up tour – named The Tour That Didn’t Tour – which made it the most successful tour of all time, even going into the Guinness World Records for the most successful stand up tour of all time.
Speaking to Jonathan Ross last month, he also talked about his famous phrases, and admitted: “I still get that, people shouting ‘garlic bread’ at me.
“Who’d have thought that a food would be a catchphrase? It wasn’t even a catchphrase, it’s a food! I couldn’t get it in the supermarket the other week.
“I couldn’t find it and I couldn’t ask for it because I was mortified to say garlic bread because they all would have (shouted it back at me).”
Reports over the weekend suggested Kay is now worth £29.6million, with two of his companies making £1.9million profit – working out at £5,200 every day.
Announcing the tour to great fanfare last month, Kay had 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.”
Kay, who is a proud native of Bolton, Greater Manchester, has built a long career in comedy as he has written numerous books and TV shows, including Phoenix Nights, Peter Kay’s Car Share, Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere and of course his lauded live shows.
In 2016, he won the BAFTA TV award for best male comedy performance and best scripted comedy and the National Television Award for best comedy for Car Share.
Car Share, the universally-loved sitcom in which he stars with Sian Gibson, will return with two more episodes after the series two finale in May. Fans all over the country were devastated when they thought that this would be the end of the loved sitcom.
Kay had previously said that he wouldn’t be writing a new complete series, much to the dismay of fans, but he has promised, however, that he will write two further episodes, one of which being an official show 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.”