Peter Kay snub: How star feared Phoenix Nights film would be ‘knackered’

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Peter Kay is considered to be among Britain’s greatest comedians – with a long-spanning career on TV, radio and the stand-up circuit. His funnyman act was first recognised in school and in his later years that dream came to life. The star’s career skyrocketed after he was crowned ‘North West Comedian of the Year’ in 1996, which helped to launch his TV skits and sketches. Since he has made a number of hits including ‘Phoenix Nights’, which after its initial success, he briefly considered turning into a film. But unearthed accounts reveal the comedian’s fear of making a big screen adaptation due to the fickle nature of the industry. He was specifically worried about the reception from audiences and that a Hollywood blockbuster could snatch success away at any moment.

‘Phoenix Nights’ first aired on Channel 4 in 2001, five years after Peter Kay received critical acclaim on the stand-up circuit. 

The TV hit follows foul-mouthed Brian Potter and the show’s eponymously named social club in Bolton – where the comedian is originally from.

The popular programme released two series and 12 episodes in total during its two year run, which earned Peter numerous awards.

The comedian’s co-star Paddy McGuinness revealed that there were talks of reuniting the cast to produce another instalment of the sitcom last year.

Proof of the claims are yet to materialise, but away from the show many fans relished in taking a rare glimpse of Peter Kay during BBC’s ‘The Big Night In’.

The ‘Comic Relief’ and ‘Children in Need’ fundraiser, made to entertain during the coronavirus lockdown, was the first time he had been since announcing a hiatus three years ago. 

In years prior to the talk of the ‘Phoenix Nights’ cast reuniting, Peter floated the idea of turning the sitcom into a film.

But in 2006, he revealed that he had cast out hopes of a film adaptation during an interview with BBC 6 Music. 

Peter said: “I’m thinking of doing a film of it but I don’t know.

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“They’re alright these British films but if you open the same weekend as Tomb Raider you’re knackered. So I might wait and see.”

In response to the rumours of ‘Phoenix Nights’ returning to TV screens for a third series, he claimed that it was being considered but some main characters would have to be “killed off”.

Peter suggested that Dave Spikey’s onscreen role Jerry St Clair and the useless doormen Max and Paddy may be destined for the chop.

He said: “It’s one of those things where I’m just going to wait until the moment is right, and I’ve got enough funny stuff, and then off we go again.”

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