Peter Kay says he’s doing ‘great’ as he cracks jokes in rare public appearance

Peter Kay discusses his comedy during 1997 interview

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Peter Kay, 48, surprised fans when he was the guest of honour launching a new wheelchair-accessible ‘wheelyboat’ near his home in Bolton. The comedian stepped away from the public eye in 2017 due to “unforeseen family circumstances” but returned to the stage earlier this month to begin his first stand-up tour in 11 years.

As he cut the ribbon to the boat on Saturday, Peter said: “It’s very lovely to be here today.

“I’m honoured to be asked to launch this fantastic wheelyboat, which I hope gives a lot of people a lot of pleasure and happiness out on the water.

“I love coming here, and the people are really nice. When it’s a nice day and there’s a heatwave you think you’re in the south of France.”

In true comedic style, Peter couldn’t help but crack a few jokes, including: “I’ve never launched anything in my life, apart from one of my children – no, only kidding.”

When he was asked how he was doing, the star replied: “I’m great, thank you very much.

“It’s nice to be doing something, nice to be doing this.”

The boat was launched on the Lowere Rivington Reservoir near Chorley. It will give disabled adults and children the chance to enjoy water-based activities.

Peter’s Dance For Life show kicked off at Manchester Central Convention Complex on Good Friday.

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He will head to London’s Alexandra Palace next Friday and then to perform two shows at Liverpool’s Echo Arena in August.

However, Peter told spectators that any future TV appearances will remain a “surprise”.

Earlier this month, the Car Share star stunned fans when he joined Instagram for the first time to promote his eagerly awaited stage comeback.

After just four weeks on the social media site, Peter has already amassed almost 10,000 followers.

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His first post was a photograph of himself sporting a huge grin while peering from behind a stage curtain.

Dozens took to the comments to gush about his return to the spotlight.

Jsmk wrote: “Love yer love yer Mr Kay it’s great you’ve made a return you’ve been soooooo missed.” (sic)

Leanne added: “Welcome back old friend!”

And Jan cheered: “How lovely to see your smiling face again!”

In late 2017, the Phoenix Nights star cancelled his tour citing “unforeseen family circumstances”.

The following year he made a brief appearance at a screening of BBC’s Car Share and didn’t take to the stage until August 2021 for a charity show.

He received a standing ovation as he attended the charity Q&A at the Manchester Apollo and joked: “I’ve never in my life had a standing ovation when I came on. I’m going to go away for four more years.”

The event was to raise money for Laura Nuttall, a 21-year-old seeking treatment for brain cancer. 

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