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For Pete’s sake

It’s pretty much accepted that Peter Kay has jumped the shark. But when precisely did it happen? Here are ten contenders for that aeronautical apocalypse. It’s by no means a definitive list, but nonetheless a start towards pinpointing exactly when “the nation’s favourite comedian” became a right honourable pain in the arse.

1) 2000: Peter remembers the title sequence of Monkey. “Monkey magic – and it were, weren’t it!”

2) 2002: The last ever episode of Phoenix Nights becomes an excuse for Peter to clear the decks of all jokes for a load of crappy singalongs.

3) 2003: Channel Five shows Live At The Top Of The Tower for the 159th time. Admittedly this isn’t Peter’s fault, but it certainly doesn’t help things.

5) 2004: Peter goes on tour again to “buy me mam a bungalow” and does the same business about garlic bread and the speedboat on Bullseye.

6) 2004: The first episode of Max And Paddy’s Road To Nowhere features a running joke about a holidaying couple mistaking the titular duo for a pair of homosexuals.

7) 2005: Peter appears on Granada TV to croon with a big band.

8) 2005: Live 8. Peter comes on clutching some booze – “this isn’t alcohol, it’s not” – and, completely alone, tries to get the crowd to join in with ‘Is This The Way To Amarillo?’. He struggles with the tune. He forgets some of the words. Nobody else appears to be singing. He leaves the stage. Then, five minutes later, he comes back on, still clutching some booze – “this isn’t alcohol, honest, it’s not” – and proceeds to do the whole fucking thing all over again.

9) 2006: Peter publishes his autobiography, claiming he’s only doing it to “buy me mam a better bungalow”. Probably.

10) 2007: Peter does a sketch for Comic Relief that is exactly the same as the one for 2005, using a character he created in 2000, singing a song that was a hit in 1988.

VERDICT: If 6) didn’t clinch it, 8) certainly did. That, or any one of his endless appearances on Parkinson.



  1. Stuart Ian Burns

    March 19, 2007 at 12:48 am

    It is funny how than man is now venerated by Comic Relief when it wasn’t that long ago — might even have been as little as the turn of the century — that he appeared on the same show doing a thing with I think a wind up Evel Knievel and died on his arse. Actually I thought he was much funnier back then.

    Also what about the Jill Dando cat joke incident?

  2. Five-Centres

    March 19, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Great post. He’s so over. He’s not a nice man either. People think he actually sings Is This The Way To Amarillo. He’s hijacked nostalgia. Good riddance, fat boy.

  3. Chris Hughes

    March 19, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Three words – “Look mam! Parky!”

    It’s definitely not number 1, cos he was bloody great on I Love The 80s. Playing air Casio along to the theme from No Limits! “Rights? What rhymes with rights? Tights! Get it down, Alan!”

    M&P’s RTN was awful, especially that first episode. My memories are a bit hazy now, so forgive me if this is wrong, but I’m fairly certain there was a scene early on where the atrocious Paddy wouldn’t wear deodorant or something, because it was a bit “poofy”. Ten minutes later, he’s happy to prance around with Max and be mistaken for a gay couple.

    The advent of the sycophantic Alison Graham lovefest needs to be on this list, too.

    Sigh. He’s never going to get anywhere near the heights of Let’s Get Quizzical ever again, is he?

  4. Joe

    March 19, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Also, I remember absolutely pissing myself at Sean Hughes doing a lengthy ‘speedboats on Bullseye’ routine in one of his standup shows, maybe fifteen years ago…

  5. Ian Jones

    March 19, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    I forgot one more –
    2006: Peter appears in Dr Who as a comedy alien designed by a Blue Peter competition winner

  6. Anonymous

    March 20, 2007 at 10:42 am

    An Insider has revealed that the whole 500 Miles thing was Matt Lucas’ idea – which would fit, as he’s mates with The Proclaimers and most of the more esoteric celebs in the video – but that Peter Kay’s name has been mysteriously pushed to the forefront.

  7. Graham Kibble-White

    March 20, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    I just objected to the fact he had to have credits on the Comic Relief thing. “Directed by Peter Kay”. Tch!

  8. Simon

    March 22, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Stuart: that was Children In Need, which was bizarre given the Sunday Show’s Peter Kay’s World Of Entertainment was pretty much all he was known for at the time. Good list, although obviously the Manchester DVD should be on, and the way the Bolton Albert Halls one starts with that impenetrable business with Sally Lindsay. And neither featured the Rude Words In Songs bit he always did at the end of shows before that tour.

    The one good thing about this record, apart from it not having an associated comedy walking routine, is that Kay’s put his name on it and he’s actually singing on it.

  9. Richard16378

    October 23, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Since the above were written Car Share has redressed the balance somewhat.

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