Peter Kay has announced that Phoenix Nights will reopen its doors next year. The comedian will reprise his role as club owner Brian Potter in a live stage version for Comic Relief.
“Every couple of years I like to do something for Comic Relief," he told Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2. “For Comic Relief next January I’m announcing that Phoenix Nights will return as a stage show.”
Kay will be joined on stage by the rest of the Phoenix regulars, including Dave Spikey and former Max and Paddy co-star Paddy McGuinness. The entire cast are working for free, with all proceeds going to the charity. Kay was optimistic about the production’s chances. “If it sells it could make an absolute fortune for Comic Relief,” he predicted. “No-one has done this before.”
The shows will run at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 31st January and Sunday 1st February 2015. Tickets go on sale this Sunday 30th November at 11am.
Set in a Manchester working men’s club, Phoenix Nights ran for 12 episodes between 2001 and 2002, and remains a much loved cult favourite. Since then Kay has always been coy about bringing the show back, despite “always being badgered on Texaco forecourts” by fans.
The comedian puts its enduring popularity down to the doomed nature of the Phoenix Club. “People love tragedy in comedy, so a club trying to keep going in a changing world [appeals]. There are hardly any left where I live. It’s a generational thing and I think it will die off eventually.”
Will the show tour? “It’s only going to be in Manchester, it’s only for two nights, it’s not touring, and that’s it.” What about worldwide? “It won’t go to other countries. They won’t get it in Germany. They won’t get it in Jersey!” And what about another TV series, or any number of other projects? “I don’t know if any more will come off the back of it, we’ll have to see.” Shabba!
While not giving away anything about the show, Kay teased some of the current attractions at the Phoenix Club: “Ample parking for over 60 cars” and “Flabba – the fat Abba.”