Peter Kay

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Arguably the most successful British comedian of his generation, Peter Kay has also been responsible for some of the biggest-selling singles of the noughties. Born in Bolton in 1973, he studied for a…
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Arguably the most successful British comedian of his generation, Peter Kay has also been responsible for some of the biggest-selling singles of the noughties. Born in Bolton in 1973, he studied for a media performance diploma at Salford University before performing standup routines on the local circuit. After he was nominated for the Edinburgh Festival's Perrier Award, he landed his own mockumentary TV show That Peter Kay Thing, and released a hugely successful live DVD, Live at the Top of the Tower. His self-penned sitcom Phoenix Nights, set in a working men's club, was his breakthrough into the mainstream and his 2003 tour became one of the most successful in British comedy history. In 2005 he was credited on Tony Christie's re-release of the 1971 hit "Is This the Way to Amarillo," despite not performing on the record. However, his appearance in the Comic Relief video helped the song to sell a million copies and stay at number one for seven consecutive weeks. Two years later he returned to the top of the charts, this time providing vocals on a duet with Little Britain star Matt Lucas on a cover of the Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)." Under the guise of Geraldine, a character in his spoof of The X-Factor, Britain's Got the Pop Factor, he scored two Top Five singles in 2008 with the Gary Barlow-penned "The Winner's Song" and "Once Upon a Christmas." A year later, he reached number one for the third time with Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band's "The Official BBC Children in Need Medley." He has also written two autobiographies, appeared in Doctor Who, Coronation Street, and 24 Hour Party People, and released a compilation of his classic sketches, The Best of Peter Kay.