Peter Kay has officially kicked off his first tour in 12 years, and on the first night of it, he was moved to tears with a standing ovation.
Kay’s tour began yesterday (December 2) in Manchester, where the legendary comedian performed to some 21,000 fans at the AO Arena. According to the BBC, fans ecstatically chanted Kay’s name before he walked out onstage – and when he did, he was overwhelmed with emotion. After tearing up, he reportedly said the crowd: “How am I supposed to do comedy now? You’ll have me in bits… I can’t believe you made me cry.”
Kay will perform in Manchester again tonight (December), before taking his comeback tour to London. He’ll return to the AO Arena next September, though, performing at least two shows every month until January of 2025 (and then a further five shows into that July). Altogether, Kay will perform 41 shows in Manchester – and according to Ticketmaster, tickets for all of them are close to selling out.
Elsewhere on the 111-date tour, Kay will perform 27 shows in London, 16 in Birmingham, 12 in Sheffield, five in Leeds, four in Belfast, and two each in Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham and Liverpool. Tickets for all of the shows can be found here.
Kay’s return to the stage was announced last month, leading to overwhelming demand for tickets: the first run of shows were sold out within minutes of going on sale, and the O2 Priority website crashed with the “highest demand” it had seen in 15 years. Responding to the sum of publicity he’d received over his comeback, Kay joked in an interview: “I should only be on the news if I’m dead!”
Kay’s last full tour went down in 2010. He was due to create a comeback in 2017, but cancelled a UK tour and stepped back from public appearances due to “unforeseen family circumstances”. His return to TV came in 2020, when he took part in the BBC’s Big Night In.
In announcing his current tour, Kay said in a statement: “It’s good to obtain back to what I love doing best, stand-up comedy, and if there’s ever a time individuals need a laugh it’s now. With the cost of living at an all-time high, ticket prices are starting from £35. The same toll they were on my previous tour in 2010.”