It was one of Bolton’s move beloved establishments and played host to many a great night in its heyday but what happened to the people who brought us those all-important Phoenix Nights?
Did they get lost on Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere? Or rise from the ashes?
Peter Kay – Brian Potter, Max Bygraves & Keith Winston Lard
The man who brought us the Phoenix has been working steadily, with sold out stand up tours and comedy roles galore. He continued Max Bygraves’ adventures in Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere, had bit parts in Doctor Who and Coronation Street and even voiced PC Mackintosh in Wallace & Gromit’s Curse of The Were Rabbit.
Peter Kay’s Car Share proved a massive hit with audiences in 2015, and you might also have spied him playing Danny Baker’s dad in the BBC’s Cradle to Grave.
Dave Spikey – Jerry ‘St. Clair’ Dignan
Phoenix Nights co-creator Spikey apparently had a bit of a falling out with Kay and the pair reportedly didn’t speak for some time, but they became friends again in recent years. He’s been continuing to enjoy success on the comedy circuit, popping up in all manner of TV shows from 8 Out of 10 Cats to Countdown and The Wright Stuff – plus he hosted a reworked version of darts show Bullseye.
Neil Fitzmaurice – Ray Von
Yes, that is Jeff from Peep Show. Neil Fitzmaurice has been a busy man since he left The Phoenix, continuing to delight audiences in comedies like Benidorm (as Lucky Kev) but showing his serious side too – prison drama Buried and Waterloo Road provided him with the opportunity to do that.
He also played Rafa Benitez on screen before maing his return to the theatre stage, but right now you’re most likely to spot him in Sky’s Mount Pleasant or CBBC’s Hank Zipzer.
Paddy McGuinness – Patrick ‘Paddy’ O’Shea
No likey? No lighty! Paddy McGuinness is now probably best known as the host of Take Me Out, but his Max & Paddy roots haven’t been forgotten. He starred in the Phoenix Nights spin-off before forging quite the career as a TV show host on Your Face Sounds Familiar and various other entertainment formats.
And now, to top it all off, he’s been popping in and out of Coronation Street, playing explorer Dougie Ryan.
Archie Kelly – Kenny ‘Dalglish’ Senior
Comedian Archie Kelly was one of the familiar faces who popped up in Max & Paddy, but did you know he was in Peter Kay’s Car Share too? He was the man with a dog in Man With Dog. And he also popped up alongside Kay in Cradle to Grave playing Uncle Frank.
Elsewhere, he’s been busy doing stand up and playing various taxi drivers on Emmerdale.
Toby Foster – Les Campbell & Steve Edge – Alan Johnson
You’ll know him best as Les from Les Alanos but Toby Foster is actually quite a successful breakfast radio show host these days, waking people up every morning on BBC Radio Sheffield.
As as for Steve? You’ll recognise him as Fergie from Starlings, or even that bloke who played Boy George, Sting, Mark Curry and other celebs on Star Stories but before he did any of that Steve Edge was Alan of Los Alanos. Today he’s still a successful actor, with a new role in Benidorm lined up for 2016.
Sally Lindsay – Tracey Burns
Ray Von’s on screen girlfriend went on to star as Coronation Street’s very own Shelley Unwin. Not content with ruling the cobbles, she also joined the Loose Women panel, helped come up with the idea for ITV drama Scott & Bailey, lead the cast of Sky’s Mount Pleasant and even popped up in BBC’s Ordinary Lives.
Justin Moorhouse – Young Kenny
When he’s not working on his podcast ‘About 30 minutes, No more than 45′, Moorhouse is keeping busy as a comedian and radio DJ. You might have spotted Phoenix Nights’ Young Kenny .on Coronation Street as Duggie, or in prison drama Buried back in the early 2000s.
Janice Connolly – Holy Mary
The artistic director and founder member of Birmingham-based Women and Theatre is probably best known for playing comedy character Barbara Nice – whom she still channels to this day. She does most of her work on radio, but recently returned to the stage to star in an adaptation of Meera Syal’s novel Anita and Me at the Birmingham Rep.
Ted Robbins – Den Perry
Phoenix Nights’ resident baddie is now best known for his work in children’s TV. He played The Governor in CBBC series The Slammer and can be found alongside Neil Fitzmaurice in Hank Zipzer.