Phoenix Nights to return: Peter Kay shares his desire to bring back classic comedy on-screen in slightly new format

Gemma Thomas
Gemma Thomas
4 Min Read

Peter Kay’s Ambition to Revive Phoenix Nights

Peter Kay, the 50-year-old comedian, recently expressed his wish to bring his iconic comedy, Phoenix Nights, back to life in the form of a film. Having worked on storylines and plots for a few years now, this aspiration comes more than two decades after its initial TV broadcast.

Detailing his thoughts in his new book, T.V.: Big Adventures on the Small Screen, Peter mentioned, “I still write down ideas. As the years roll by, I’m becoming more like Brian, but if Phoenix Nights were to resurface, it’d have to be for something very special, possibly a film? Maybe Brian could have an encounter with three ghosts. Wouldn’t that be something?”

Phoenix Nights is set to return
The cast of Phoenix Nights

Interestingly, should the film make its debut in UK cinemas, it would mark two decades since the renowned social club initially welcomed its guests. This venture catapulted the careers of both Kay, who portrayed aspiring entrepreneur Brian Potter, and his co-star Paddy McGuinness.

The Series and Beyond

Originating from 2001 to 2002, the series followed Peter’s character, Brian, in his determined efforts to establish his club as Bolton’s premier spot, especially after his last two ventures went up in flames. Moving forward, Peter also disclosed his keenness to produce a festive episode of the spin-off, Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere, alongside his former colleague.

Peter Kay playing Brian Potter, owner of a working mans club in Bolton

Together, they’ve crafted an episode where the pair, working as bouncers, don the attire of elves in a grotto and, rather amusingly, display ‘overly aggressive’ behaviour towards the children. Peter commented, “Reflecting on this, I truly sense how wonderful it would be to film this someday and collaborate with Paddy once more.”

Earlier in the year, Paddy gave fans a glimmer of hope about the potential comeback of his cherished sitcom Max and Paddy’s Road To Nowhere. With its debut on Channel 4 in 2004, this comedy only lasted six episodes.

Potential Comeback and Paddy’s Thoughts

However, in an interview in March, Paddy playfully hinted, “Never say never.” This iconic TV personality also elaborated on how he and the comedy genius, Peter, had already drafted several Christmas specials for the series but never managed to broadcast them.

While on Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp, Paddy revealed, “We frequently discuss it, but I genuinely can’t see it happening just yet. However, we never truly dismiss the idea. We have penned a few Christmas specials for Max and Paddy, which we still possess. Sadly, for various reasons back then, we never aired them. But they’re ready and waiting!”

Peter Kay and Paddy McGuinness as the bouncers in Phoenix Nights

The Take Me Out presenter then jovially remarked, “Nowadays, I’m naturally a bit lazy. So, my motto is minimal work for maximal gain.” Radio host Chris Stark then nudged Paddy about the shelved Christmas special, to which Paddy admitted his laziness, but also emphasised the immense effort and time required to produce a scripted comedy.

The storyline of this series, an offshoot of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, centres on doormen Patrick ‘Paddy’ O’Shea and Maxwell ‘Max’ Bygraves, travelling the UK in a campervan. This adventurous pair were fleeing from a club-goer who, in Phoenix Nights, vowed to have them executed.

In 2005, Peter and Paddy revived their characters in a humorous fitness DVD, and they made another appearance in Phoenix Nights Live in Manchester in 2015, all in good spirit for Comic Relief.

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