Peter Kay was pictured looking in high spirits as he smiled for a photograph at the final performance of Nativity! The Musical in London on Sunday evening.
The picture marks the first time the comedian, 46, has been publicly photographed in eight months, following his decision to step out of the limelight two years ago.
Peter 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!’
This comes hours after Peter broke his social media silence to slam Channel 5 for using an ‘incredibly misleading title’ for a documentary on his life and career.
‘Peter Kay: In His Own Words’ aired at 9pm on the channel on Sunday, but doesn’t feature any new interviews with the comedy legend.
A strongly-worded statement posted on the funnyman’s official Twitter account hours before the programme aired stated that Peter wasn’t involved with the two-hour documentary in any way.
Fresh appearance: Peter Kay was pictured looking in high spirits as he smiled for a photograph at the final performance of the Nativity! musical in London on Sunday evening (pictured in November 2017)
‘Misleading’: This comes hours after Peter broke his social media silence to slam Channel 5 for using an ‘incredibly misleading title’ for a documentary on his life and career
The statement read: ‘Very flattering of Channel 5 to commission the programme going out tonight, but just to let people know that Peter Kay: In His Own Words has an incredibly misleading title, as it doesn’t feature any new interviews with Peter and all the footage is completely historic.’
The rep added: ‘The title also gives the impression that Peter has been involved in the making of this documentary, which he hasn’t. At all.’
Channel 5 declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline.
Aside from a plug for his Phoenix Nights charity cinema screening in October, the account had been largely inactive.
As has the funnyman himself. He cancelled all scheduled work commitments in December 2017 for the foreseeable future, due to ‘unforeseen family circumstances’ and wasn’t spotted in public until April this year.
Strong: The statement read: ‘Very flattering of Channel 5 to commission the programme going out tonight, but just to let people know that Peter Kay: In His Own Words has an incredibly misleading title’
‘This decision has not been taken lightly and I’m sure you’ll understand my family must always come first,’ he said at the time.
‘I’ve always endeavoured to protect my family’s privacy from the media.
‘I hope that the media and the public will continue to respect our privacy at this time. Once again I’m very sorry.’
But new work for the Bolton native may be on its way to our screens. He is reportedly in early talks with the BBC for a new television project.
Big news: Peter is reportedly in early talks with the BBC for a new television project, over a year after the final episode of his series Car Share (pictured) came to an end
According to The Sun, the comedian started discussions earlier this month about a new series – but nothing has been officially confirmed.
A source said: ‘A conversation has been had between Peter and the BBC.
‘There is no rush and whatever happens will always be dictated by Peter but a new project has been discussed.
‘It’s exciting news for Peter’s fans, who have yet to see the void left by Car Share filled.’
Absent: The comedian has rarely been seen in public since he cancelled all projects in December 2017. His last sighting was in April as he rode a tram in Blackpool
Peter’s last TV series Car Share came to an end in May 2018, and despite his break from public life the show still drew 8.8 million viewers.
He was last seen in public in April of this year on board a tram in Blackpool, and happily posed with some of the transport’s staff in a photo posted to their Twitter account.
In Spring last year Peter made his first public appearance since cancelling his tour, to introduce a charity screening of his series Car Share.
Here he is! Peter made a rare public appearance in Spring last year to introduce a screening of one of the final episodes of Car Share in Blackpool
He took to the stage at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, Lancashire and told the audience: ‘Thank you very much for supporting the Lily Foundation raising money for mitochondrial disease.
‘Very kind of you. I appreciate it. Enjoy the last ever episode of Car Share. Don’t tell anyone the end. Or tell anyone about any hedgehogs.’
Bowing as he left the stage, he added: ‘So thank you. Lots of love, enjoy, take care, bye-bye.’
Break away: In December 2017 Peter announced that he had cancelled his upcoming live tour and all forthcoming projects due to ‘unforeseen family circumstances’