Peter Kay made a rare appearance at comedians Danny Baker and Bob Harris’ Backstage Pass tour at The Lowry Theatre in Salford on Sunday.
Appearing to be in high spirits, the funnyman, 48, beamed from ear-to-ear as he posed with his pals while donning a black polo shirt and jeans.
Bob, who presents the Radio 2 country show and is currently touring with an In Conversation show with Danny, uploaded the joyful group snap to Instagram along with the caption, ‘Lads. Pre-show.’
Spotted! Peter Kay (centre) made a rare appearance at comedians Danny Baker (left) and Bob Harris’ (right) Backstage Pass tour at The Lowry Theatre in Salford on Sunday
Exciting: Bob uploaded the joyful group snap to Instagram along with this caption
It comes after the Car Share star stepped back from the public eye in 2017, when he cancelled a huge 14-month stand-up tour due to ‘unforeseen family circumstances’.
It was due to run across the UK and Ireland from April 2018 through to summer 2019 – and Kay had only announced it one month earlier.
But he said on December 13, 2017: ‘Due to unforeseen family circumstances, I deeply regret that I am having to cancel all of my upcoming work projects.
‘This unfortunately includes my upcoming standup tour, Dance for Life shows and any outstanding live work commitments.
Shock: It comes after the Car Share star stepped back from the public eye in 2017, when he cancelled a huge stand-up tour due to ‘unforeseen family circumstances’ (pictured in 2011)
‘My sincerest apologies. This decision has not been taken lightly and I’m sure you’ll understand my family must always come first.’
The comedian delighted his fans in August after returning to the stage for the first time in more than three years at Manchester’s O2 Apollo for a Q&A.
The Doing it For Laura events are being held to raise money for Laura Nuttall, 20, who has an aggressive type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme.
Talented: The Bolton-born comic received a standing ovation as he appeared on stage at Manchester’s O2 Apollo during a Q&A in August (pictured in 2021)
Hilarious: The comic said, ‘I’ve never in my life had a standing ovation when I came on,’ before joking: ‘I’m going to go away for four more years’ (pictured in 2016)
Ms Nuttall, who was in the audience, was initially given 12-18 months to live when she was diagnosed aged 18 but has received immunotherapy treatment in Germany thanks to fundraising.
Her sister Gracie introduced Kay and told the audience that the family was ‘eternally grateful’ for them ‘potentially saving my sister’s life’.
The comic said: ‘I’ve never in my life had a standing ovation when I came on,’ before joking: ‘I’m going to go away for four more years.’
Exciting: Kay recorded an audio-only version of Car Share in April 2020 with his co-star Sian Gibson
He had previously been due to make a comeback with a series of six ‘Dance For Life’ shows to raise money for Cancer Research UK in April and May 2020.
But the events – with two due to have been in each of Manchester, Liverpool and London – had to be postponed in March last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kay did however release a special audio-only episode of his comedy Car Share with co-star Sian Gibson in April last year in an attempt to ‘cheer people in some way’.
He also made a brief return this January when he called into Cat Deeley’s new BBC Radio 2 programme, as they discussed the New Year and embarrassing stories.
Kay’s tweet was his first post on Twitter in 15 months, with his last on April 29 last year when he wrote about the BBC repeating both series of Car Share.
His last Twitter activity was retweeting a post by Rick Astley last October about the singer’s video for the song Every One Of Us which supported Children in Need.
Kay’s fans had raised concerns for his health after his appearance on the BBC’s Big Night In back in April 2020, with some saying he looked ‘far from 100 per cent’.
Rolling in dough: Last September, it emerged his absence from the public eye had seen money continue to roll into Good Night Vienna Productions, the firm he established in 1999 (pictured in 2011)
Last September, it emerged his absence from the public eye had seen money continue to roll into Good Night Vienna Productions, the firm he established in 1999.
Described as a ‘writing, performing and TV production’ business, its shareholder funds were £24.8million by the end of March 2020 – £1million up on the year before.
Some £23.3million of the company’s funds were held in ‘cash in bank and in hand’, while its only reported spending was limited to just £1,495 – on ‘motor vehicles’.
Kay, whose 2010-11 tour made it into the Guinness World Records after he performed to more than 1.2million people, lives with his wife Susan and their three children.
Loved up: Kay, whose 2010-11 tour made it into the Guinness World Records after he performed to more than 1.2million people, lives with his wife Susan and their three children (pictured in 2009)
How Peter Kay is helping to raise money for terminally ill student’s £80,000 brain cancer treatment
Peter Kay’s two special live shows next month have been organised to help fund a student’s £80,000 pioneering brain cancer treatment.
The tickets for his Q&A events will go on sale this Friday with all funds raised in aid of ‘Doing It For Laura’ to help terminally ill Laura Nuttall, 21.
Ms Nuttall, from Barrowford, in Lancashire, is battling Glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumour, and has already had immunotherapy treatment.
But her cancer has returned and after surgery in March she needs more treatment in Cologne, Germany.
‘Doing It For Laura’ has so far raised over £14,000 to help her fund a lifesaving ‘innovative new immunotherapy treatment’ in Germany.
Laura Nuttall (right) with her parents Nicola and Mark (centre) and sister Gracie (left)
Ms Nuttall received the diagnosis three years ago after complaining to her GP of sickness and headaches and an eye examination detected swelling in her optic nerve.
Her mother Nicola Nuttall said: ‘Laura was diagnosed with brain cancer in Autumn 2018 when she was just 18. She was given a prognosis of roughly 12 months and told to go away and make memories.
‘She bravely endured a craniotomy to remove the largest tumour and then started a gruelling program of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
‘But then we found an innovative new immunotherapy treatment available only in Germany.’
Everton fan Ms Nuttall met the team and is pictured with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford
Mrs Nuttall added: ‘With the help of our friends, community and the wonderful people who donated through GoFundMe, we were able to take Laura out to Cologne on a regular basis.
‘To our delight, her immune system responded to the treatment.
‘Laura remained well, well enough to go back to university in Manchester and start a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
‘Fast forward 2.5 years and although still really healthy and free of symptoms, a routine MRI scan revealed regrowth on the site of the original tumour.
Ms Nuttall (left) has got to meet a series of stars, including actress Gillian Anderson
‘Laura had a second surgery at the end of March and now the plan is for two further dendritic cell vaccinations and a course of a checkpoint inhibitor called Pembrolizumab.
‘None of this is available on the NHS of course so we are faced with the enormous challenge of raising a further £80,000.’
After Ms Nuttall was diagnosed she created a ‘bucket list’ of activities she wanted to complete and so far she has piloted HMS Charger, driven a supercar around Silverstone and visited the Churchill War Rooms.
She went to LGV driving school Ben Shaw Training in Burnley with her parents to drive a DAF truck and a bus around the practice yard.
Ms Nuttall underwent radiotherapy after surgery, along with chemotherapy
Other items on her bucket list include viewing The Scream painted by artist Edvard Munch, crossing the equator and visiting the Heinz Factory in Wigan.
And more recently she ticked another item off her bucket list when she got to drive a pink digger.
That experience was provided by Cumbria based company Waitings whose own director, Victoria Waiting, died in 2016 aged 44, with the same tumour Ms Nuttall is fighting.
Earlier this month Ms Nuttall also got to visit Wembley and see England’s defeat against Italy in the Euro 2020 final after being given free tickets.
Ms Nutall meets the BBC’s Fiona Bruce – another of the stars she has met in recent years
She has just completed the second year of her degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Manchester University.
Ms Nuttall has also been invited to model for a fashion show at Manchester Airport later this year, staged by cancer support group Maggie’s Centres.
She is also looking forward later this year to having afternoon tea at HMP Styal jail.
She will be served at the Clink restaurant by prisoners in training who are working towards gaining their City Guilds NVQs in food and beverage service, professional cookery and food hygiene.
Gina Almond, The Brain Tumour Charity’s director of fundraising and marketing, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted for Laura that Peter Kay has shown such kindness in putting on these shows to help fund her glioblastoma treatment abroad.
‘Laura is one of our inspirational Young Ambassadors who help us to raise awareness about brain tumours so we can improve early diagnosis and find new treatments faster – and we are hugely grateful for the family’s ongoing support for us despite everything they are going through.
‘Brain tumours remain the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 in the UK. Glioblastomas in particular are the most common and most aggressive form of brain tumour in adults, accounting for around 2,200 cases in England each year.
‘With treatment options remaining limited, and average survival being around 12-18 months from diagnosis, we urgently need to find new treatments to help give those affected by a glioblastoma more time to live. A cure can’t wait.’