Phoenix Nights' Ray Von star Neil Fitzmaurice looks unrecognisable 21 years on from Peter Kay sitcom

TWENTY years have almost passed since Phoenix Nights first appeared on our screens – and some of its cast look completely unrecognisable since filming. 

The Channel 4 sitcom, which centred around a working men’s club in Bolton, first aired in 2001 and only lasted for two series – but its characters will never be forgotten.

In particular, Ray Von – portrayed by Neil Fitzmaurice – is looks totally different since appearing on the Peter Kay show.

Neil, now 52, played the lovable DJ Ray Von and later went on to enjoy success on Channel 4's Peep Show.

From 2003 to 2015, Fitzmaurice featured alongside the likes of David Mitchell, Robert Webb and Olivia Colman as Jeff, the love rival and enemy of Mark Corrigan.

The 52-year-old recently starred in hit Sky comedy Brassic alongside Joseph Gilgun and Michelle Keegan and in the BBC Three comedy The First Team.

He has also just featured in the pilot for a new comedy called Semi-Detached on BBC Two.

Phoenix Nights cemented itself as a cult classic that still has legions of fans to this day and won the People's Choice Award at the British Comedy Awards in 2002.

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The standout star from the series was Peter who, as well as writing and directing episodes, also played three different characters – with some even appearing in the same scenes.

The main focus was on wheelchair-user Brian Potter's attempts to make the club a success despite his bumbling staff and rough punters, as well as his clashes with rival club owner Den Perry.

Peter wrote the show along with Neil and Dave Spikey, who also played major characters, but this led to a bitter feud once the show ended.

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