Peter Kay performed three secret gigs to raise £80,000 for the theatre that sacked him for falling asleep on the job.
The telly comic broke off from his sell-out UK stand-up tour to appear at the Octagon in his home town of Bolton, Greater Manchester.
He told an audience of theatre members, patrons and mailing list subscribers: "I used to work here in 1994 and I got let go.” Kay said his job gaffes included telling a Corrie actor he could not come in wearing white jeans.
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He also impersonated a council employee to tell a rude theatre-goer their water was going to be cut off. The final straw came when he nodded off watching a play while in uniform.
"That wasn’t a good advert for a member of staff to be spark out during a show,” he said. Kay, 50, said he was also fired from other jobs at a local branch of supermarket Netto and a video shop called Rentertainment.
He now reportedly boasts a £22million fortune after a string of hit TV shows including Car Share, Phoenix Nights and Max And Paddy’s Road To Nowhere plus his ongoing 121-date three-year nationwide tour. Fan Peter Rushton, who was in the audience for Kay’s first shows in his home town in 20 years, said: "It's fantastic that he’s giving something back to the town because he’s one of the local boys and he’s done good.”
Roddy Gauld, of the Octagon, where Kay was a member of the youth theatre, said the comic’s "generosity" would help keep ticket prices down. "Having a big draw like Peter Kay makes a massive difference," he said. It comes after Peter recorded a tell-all interview with Steve Wright, 69, for an hour-long special on Radio 2.
Fans got to hear him talk about his childhood and his career and with some anecdotes about hilarious moments he’s had with stars including Sir Paul McCartney, 81, and Sir Michael Caine, 90. It also featured some of his favourite songs and TV theme tunes. Peter promised fans an early Christmas present and it was packed with festive cheer.
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He said at the time: "What an early festive treat it was for me to chat to broadcasting legend Steve Wright. “I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope everybody else does too. Feliz Navidad.” Host Steve said: “I am Peter’s biggest fan and I’m also pleased to call him my friend so please tune in for this very special radio programme.” The special will air on Sunday at 10am as part of Radio 2’s Superstar Sunday.
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