The Cast of Phoenix Nights


Phoenix Nights was one of the best comedy series I have seen, even if I say so myself! It was well written featuring northern humour and a cast that knew how to deliver comedy lines. That was part of Peter Kay's genius. He knew what he wanted and he knew how to get it. The cast of Phoenix Nights was not a cast full of seasoned actors but mainly stand-up comedians. Peter gave me a fantastic character to play, the liar, Kenny Senior. You may remember his fibs about Jackie Chan buying paint off him or that he had had a sexual jamboree with Bonnie Langford. Such incongruous imagery, you could not fail to see the humour. However, there is more to the Cast of Phoenix nights and the bonds that were forged through that series.

This was a laugh-a-minute experience for us all. Not only was Peter the worst offender for "corpsing" and making the rest of us laugh but we all got on well and made each other laugh with banter so typical of the comedy scene. Paddy McGuinness, Steve Edge, Janice Connolly and I, Archie Kelly,  went on to do the Jumping on the Bandwagon Tour. Talk about sex, drugs and Rock and Roll- No, this was tea and biscuits , the Manchester Evening News crossword and quite a lot of practical jokes.  I still have an image burned into my retina of Paddy walking bravely up the canal bank just in his underpants, because, I , Archie, had knicked his clothes. However, only Paddy could have carried this off for so many reasons.


However, it is not all work. The Cast of Phoenix Nights keep in touch at each of our own special occasions or ad hoc get togethers or even just supporting each other in some new venture. Paddy's wedding was a combination of Cheshire chic and Boltonian earthiness with glamour to die for in Paddy and his beautiful wife, Christine. Steve's wedding to Tamara was boho chic, in the middle of a field, (on Lord McCalpine's estate in Henley-On-Thames) a teepee surrounded by caravans plying their wares. Guests were offered the opportunity to ride a merry-go-round, sample Thai food or fish and chips and even a chance to be filmed wearing a range of hats and masks as they wished the newly weds well. A memorable event, not least because the Cast of Phoenix Nights seemed to spend most of their time around the drinks caravan! I am always glad to see any one of the cast try a new venture. So I was at Justin's debut in Hobson's choice and watched Janice Connolly in her own production at the Lowry.

And now to the big issue. The cast of Phoenix Nights will be reuniting for a very special treat next year. as Peter Kay has already revealed.  Can't say more than this but keep your eyes open for me,  Archie Kelly, and the rest of the cast of Phoenix Nights in the national press.


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