Peter Kay delighted on Saturday morning, as he made a rare return to the spotlight for a heartwarming chat with Cat Deeley on BBC Radio 2.
The one-off show featured the 47-year-old comedian at his jovial best as Cat filled in for Graham Norton following his departure from the show and before his replacement Claudia Winkleman makes her debut in the timeslot.
As funnyman Peter made his appearance on the show, fans took to Twitter in droves to express their joy, with one writing: ‘How WONDERFUL to hear him on #Radio2 just now, very much missed & still as funny as ever, hope he does more soon!’
He’s back! Peter Kay delighted on Saturday morning, as he made a rare return to the spotlight for a heartwarming chat with Cat Deeley on BBC Radio 2
Gushed another fan: ‘So good to hear Peter Kay chattering away on the radiogram. Can’t not smile. Missed his joyful laugh.’
Apparently moved by his presence, a third listener tweeted: ‘Listening to Peter Kay on @BBCRadio2 is filling me with joy!’
Wrote another: ‘How well does @peterkay_co_uk sound on @BBCRadio2 with @catdeeley pleasure to listen to. Thanks Peter, great way to start 2021!’
Peter cancelled a tour in 2017 and has rarely been seen in public since. He was last on TV in 2018 when he appeared in two special episodes of Car Share.
Stepping in: The one-off show aired on Saturday as Cat filled in for Graham Norton following his departure from the show and before his replacement Claudia Winkleman makes her debut
And while no mention was made of his reasons for bowing out of the spotlight during his chat with Cat, the pair kept the laughs coming with their interaction.
After greeting Cat as Catherine, the star admitted that he was ‘sick to death’ of people wishing him a Happy New Year.
He raised raucous laughter from Cat as he joked: ‘You know when you get overwhelmed by texts, and you reply with copy and paste.’
The star also spoke about going to see the stage production of Mamma Mia!, cracking a joke at the expense of the film’s star Pierce Brosnan.
After ribbing Cat for her West Midlands accent while pronouncing ‘Mamma’, he quipped: ‘Pierce Brosnan’s singing didn’t work and they brought him back for the sequel!’
Out of the spotlight: Kay cancelled a tour in 2017 and has rarely been seen in public since. He was last on TV in 2018 when he appeared in two special episodes of Car Share
Welcome back: As funnyman Peter made his appearance on the show, fans took to Twitter in droves to express their joy
He said of the stage production: ‘I went to see it and I loved it and I knew the stage manager and saw the girl who plays the lead character and said, “Congratulations on getting married!” I thought it was real!’
The pair spent much of their time together on-air chatting about music and mixtapes, while also listening to reworked versions of popular classic tracks.
He also revealed how he talked Cat into presenting his 2008 comedy show Britain’s Got the Pop Factor… And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice.
‘I love music,’ he said. ‘I have very eclectic taste. I rang you to give you the big sell. You were in LA and I was trying to say I’d love you to do it and trying to talk you into it.’
After enjoying several minutes together on-air, Peter bid Cat a farewell, with the guest presenter sounding emotional as she said goodbye.
Appearance: In April, he appeared on the BBC One show in a pre-recorded clip from his Bolton home to introduce a new version of his classic Comic Relief track This Is The Way To Amarillo
Thrilled: During the interview, no mention was made of Peter’s reasons for bowing out of the spotlight, but listeners were still thrilled just to hear him on the radio
In April, Peter appeared on the BBC One show in a pre-recorded clip from his Bolton home to introduce a new version of his classic Comic Relief track Is This The Way to Amarillo.
Last year, Peter was forced to cancel his Dance For Life tour due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it would have been his first return to the spotlight after cancelling all of his work commitments in 2017 due to ‘unforeseen family circumstances.’
He said: ‘Obviously this is disappointing news but well and truly justified given the circumstances. We’ll get through this, together and then we’ll all have a great big dance for life. Stay safe and look after yourselves and the people around you.’
The comedian is married to Susan Gargan, who he married in 2001. They have three children together – a 16-year-old son called Charlie Michael Kay and two younger children, who the pair have kept shielded from the public eye.
Since his self-imposed hiatus, the Lancashire-born comic has rarely been seen in public but has promoted charity events.
Peter’s last stage appearance was when he spoke to an audience gathered to see a charity screening of his BBC comedy Car Share in April 2018.
Shame: Earlier this year, Peter was forced to cancel his Dance For Life tour due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it would have been his first return to the spotlight since 2017
The three screenings were to raise money for The Lily Foundation, supporting children with mitochondrial disease, that the Phoenix Nights star had ‘first-hand experience of’.
Peter was photographed for the first time in eight months on December 27 in 2019 when he made an appearance at the Crewe Lyceum Theatre to watch X Factor star Chico and iconic duo Canon and Ball in a production of Peter Pan.
TV personality Chico posted a picture of the four men together on his fitness page with the caption: ‘When Peter Kay pops in to see us #panto with the legends that are Cannon and Ball life is complete.’
On December 29 he was seen looking in high spirits as he smiled for a photograph at the final performance of Nativity! The Musical in London.
Kay posed for the snap alongside the show’s director Debbit Isitt, who later posted the photo on her Twitter page alongside a caption about the star.
She penned: ‘So lovely to see the brilliant comic genius Peter Kay and his lovely family tonight for our final show! What a lovely surprise for us all!’
Theatre trip: Peter was photographed on December 27 2019 when he headed to the Crewe Lyceum Theatre to watch X Factor’s Chico and duo Canon and Ball in a production of Peter Pan