Peter Kay returned to the stage for his first gig in three years this weekend and received a standing ovation from the crowd at Manchester’s O2 Apollo
Peter Kay received a standing ovation as he returned to the stage for the first time in three years.
The comedian, 48, appeared on stage at Manchester’s O2 Apollo for the first of two live Q&As as part of The Doing it For Laura events on Saturday.
At the gig, he joked about his absence, saying returning to the stage is like “getting in a hot bath”.
He said: “I’ve never in my life had a standing ovation when I came on.”
Peter joked: “I’m going to go away for four more years.”
The events are being held to raise money for Laura Nuttall, 20, who has an aggressive type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme.
Ms Nuttall, who was in the audience, was initially given 12-18 months to live when she was diagnosed aged 18 but has received immunotherapy treatment in Germany thanks to fundraising.
Her sister Gracie introduced Kay and told the audience that the family was “eternally grateful” for them “potentially saving my sister’s life”.
As he started the matinee performance, Kay said: “I was a bit nervous this morning, when I got here.
“I was looking at all this and thinking ‘oh my God’ but it’s really nice to be doing this.
“It’s like getting in a hot bath.”
Hundreds of fans queued outside in the rain ahead of the comedian’s first gig in years.
Fans were asked to provide proof they had been double vaccinated or had negative Covid tests before being allowed in.
Peter joked on stage about lateral flow tests, telling fans: “People have been bringing them to the gate in bags.”
He answered questions from audience members which were selected from a tub of Roses chocolates.
When asked if his show Max And Paddy would return, Peter said: “I loved making Max And Paddy, it was one of the best times we ever had filming and we had such a good laugh.
“We actually wrote two Christmas specials and then we never made them so you never know.”
When another fan asked if people shouted “garlic bread” at him following his famous stand-up sketch, he said: “I can’t buy it when I go to the supermarket, I’m too embarrassed.”
He also told anecdotes about holidaying in Eric Clapton’s home in France and trying out indoor sky-diving.
Tickets for the show sold out in 30 minutes when they went on sale last month.
Peter has been largely out of the spotlight since a surprise appearance at a charity screening of his series Car Share in 2018, but made a brief return in January 2021 when he appeared on BBC Radio 2 to chat to Cat Deeley.
He cancelled his last tour in December 2017, citing “unforeseen family circumstances”.
Peter will donating all the proceeds from the shows to help Laura Nuttall with a portion going to The Brain Tumour Charity.
The Brain Tumour Charity’s Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Gina Almond, said: “We are absolutely delighted for Laura that Peter Kay has shown such kindness in putting on two shows to help fund her glioblastoma treatment abroad.
“Laura is one of our inspirational Young Ambassadors who help us to raise awareness about brain tumours so we can improve early diagnosis and find new treatments faster.
“We are hugely grateful for the family’s support as we launch a world-first UK clinical trial to find out whether cannabis-based Sativex could help give precious extra time to live for people whose glioblastomas have grown back.
“Brain tumours remain the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 in the UK. Glioblastomas in particular are the most common and most aggressive form of brain tumour in adults, accounting for around 2,200 cases in England each year.
“With treatment options remaining limited, and average survival being around 12-18 months from diagnosis, this trial finally gives people a glimmer of hope. A cure can’t wait.
“Anyone affected by a glioblastoma can speak to us for support and information on 0808 800 0004 or by emailing [email protected] If you need someone to talk to, we’re here for you.”