Peter Kay

Last updated on the 1 May 2024 by Evandrus

Peter Kay headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 2 July 1973, Farnworth, Lancashire, England. 

Peter Kay grew up in a working-class family; his father, Michael, was an engineer and his mother, Deirdre, was of Irish descent. Kay’s early life in Farnworth laid the foundation for his relatable and observational style of comedy.

Peter Kay attended Mount Saint Joseph School, where he left with a GCSE in art. His passion for entertainment led him to study media performance at the University of Salford.

Peter Kay’s career in the spotlight began when he won the North West Comedian of the Year award. His big break came in 1997 after winning Channel 4’s ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ contest. This success led to his nomination for a Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the following year. In 2000, Kay co-wrote and starred in ‘That Peter Kay Thing’ for Channel 4, which became the precursor to the hit series ‘Phoenix Nights.’ The show ran for two series from 2001 to 2002 and spawned another successful spin-off, ‘Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere,’ in 2004.

Peter Kay’s talent for parody shone through in 2005 when he released a cover of Tony Christie’s “(Is This the Way to) Amarillo” for Comic Relief, which topped the UK Singles Chart. He continued to display his versatility by co-writing and starring in ‘Britain’s Got the Pop Factor… and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice,’ a parody of British reality TV shows.

In 2010, Kay embarked on a stand-up comedy tour that broke records for being the most successful ever, selling over 1.2 million tickets. He returned to television with the critically acclaimed ‘Peter Kay’s Car Share,’ which aired from 2015 to 2018. For his work on ‘Car Share,’ Kay received multiple BAFTA TV Awards, including Best Male Comedy Performance and Best Scripted Comedy.

Peter Kay has always valued his privacy, but it is known that he married Susan Gargan in 2001, and they have remained together since. Kay took a break from the public eye in 2017 due to unforeseen family circumstances but made a triumphant return with a new tour, highlighting his enduring popularity and the affection the public holds for him.

Peter Kay’s journey from a modest upbringing in Lancashire to becoming one of Britain’s most beloved comedians is a testament to his talent and appeal. His ability to capture the nuances of everyday life has not only entertained but also resonated with audiences across the UK and beyond.


BAFTA award

WINNER | Television: Scripted Comedy for Peter Kay’s Car Share (2016)  | Television: Male Performance In A Comedy Programme for Peter Kay’s Car Share (2016) 



Suggested viewing


Phoenix Nights (2001)

Phoenix Nights poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.6

Phoenix Nights follows the misadventures of a struggling working men’s club owner and his eccentric staff. The hapless owner constantly clashes with the flamboyant but useless club manager over outlandish ideas to attract customers. Despite facing financial woes, bizarre patrons and their own chaotic personalities, they try everything they can to keep the club afloat, leading to hilarious and cringe-worthy situations.

Top cast: Peter Kay, Dave Spikey, Paddy McGuinness, Justin Moorhouse, Neil Fitzmaurice, Ted Robbins, Bernard Wrigley, Janice Connolly, Steve Edge, Sian Gibson.


Max & Paddy’s Road to Nowhere (2004)

Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.6

Two ex-bouncers, one level-headed and the other a wide-eyed dreamer, ditch their nightclub gigs for a whimsical adventure in a campervan. Their poorly-planned road trip leads to hilarious mishaps, questionable deals with odd characters and one friend’s outrageous schemes. As they navigate getting lost, mechanical trouble and their differing personalities, their unlikely bond is tested on this comedic journey to nowhere in particular.

Top cast: Peter Kay, Paddy McGuinness, Lisa Hammond, Tony Mooney, Craig Cheetham, Toby Foster, Steve Edge, Noddy Holder, Reece Shearsmith.


Car Share (2015)

Car Share poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.3

Car Share follows the awkward commutes of two mismatched office colleagues forced to carpool. As they navigate everyday annoyances, personal quirks and uncomfortable silences, an unexpected friendship blossoms between the uptight manager and the free-spirited promotions rep. This sitcom finds humour in the routine carpool journey, exploring the awkwardness of forced proximity and the amusement of polite chit-chat that develops into an unlikely bond.

Top cast: Peter Kay, Sian Gibson.


That Peter Kay Thing (2000)

That Peter Kay Thing poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.5

“That Peter Kay Thing” is a mockumentary series following a collection of quirky characters in northern England. Each episode focuses on a different character, like a struggling bingo caller or an overzealous ice cream vendor. The show uses humour to portray the realities of everyday life, from working at a dead-end job to the challenges of running a local social club. Many of the characters, often played by Peter Kay himself, are endearing despite their flaws, making for a hilarious and relatable watch.

Top cast: Peter Kay, Andrew Sachs, Steve Edge, Claire Rhodes, Claire Lever, Neil Fitzmaurice, Beatrice Kelley, Paul Mark Elliott, Catherine Tate, Paddy McGuinness, Sian Gibson.


Cradle to Grave (2015)

Cradle to Grave poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.0

Cradle to Grave is a sitcom that follows the life of a young boy (Danny Kelly) in 1970s London. The show explores his experiences with his quirky family, from his well-meaning but embarrassing parents to his eccentric extended relatives. Through humorous situations and relatable struggles, the series depicts the awkwardness and adventures of childhood, capturing the nostalgia of growing up in a particular time and place.

Top cast: Peter Kay, Lucy Speed, Laurie Kynaston, Alice Sykes, Frankie Wilson, Jack O’Connor, Brian Fletcher, Frankie Fox.


Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


Peter Kay Gallery


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