Why I'm returning to stand-up

by Peter Kay

Peter Kay is to perform at Manchester’s MEN Arena for four nights after a break of almost seven years from stand-up. Here, in his own words, the 36-year-old Bolton comic explains why he is ready to return.

It has been a long time since my last tour, but I wanted to do it again only when I felt ready. My original plan was to do shows in 2008, but when it came to then I didn't feel right and I wanted to do something for telly, which is why I did Britain's Got the Pop Factor last year.

As I was writing my memoirs, Saturday Night Peter, I went through a lot of my old material which I had written down, along with set lists and during that writing process I felt almost back there and remembered the excitement and nerves that come with performing live as a comedian. There is nothing like that feeling - it is very hard to describe.

Even writing down those experiences I got butterflies, remembering how nervous I was at the time.

It made me realise that I had a skill that I had honed over quite a long time and that involved a lot of hard work. It seemed to me to be a shame to develop a skill like that and then not go back and do it.

I have loads of material. I have been constantly writing stuff down over the past seven years and lots has happened since then - things like Facebook, iPhones, Sky Plus. And I've become a dad since then.

The bottom line is, that I believe first and foremost that I am a stand-up comedian. It's something I developed in school, making people laugh and talking about the things that I see as a I go along.

Stand-up is incredibly important to me, which is why it has been so long since my last tour. If it was just a case of doing it for the money, I would have done two or three more by now. As it is, I feel that now is right and I am really looking forward to performing live again. I love it.

I am playing Manchester, and that is important to me. It feels comfortable and it has a lot of memories, the Arena. It's where I worked as a steward for a time and it's also where I played my last show of the last tour after 180 nights on the road.

Another really important factor is that it's just down the road. I can come home to my family each night, which is absolutely brilliant.’

  • This was a syndicated interview, produced to publicise Kay’s four nights at the MEN Arena in April. Tickets go on sale at 11am tomorrow.

Published: 20 Nov 2009

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