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|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2007)|
Brian Chelsea Potter, one of many fictional characters played by Peter Kay, is the owner of The Phoenix Club in both That Peter Kay Thing and Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights. He also appeared in Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere.
Although Brian's age is uncertain, it is known that Brian was not paralysed in his earlier years, as it was seen in Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere. Before owning the Phoenix Club, Brian is noted to say he once ran the Barracuda Club in Lincoln, one of many places Peter Kay started doing his comedy routine in, standing on a crate. In an episode of That Peter Kay Thing, he also states that he ran the Aquarius club and that is where he lost the use of his legs. He claims that a fruit machine fell on top of him and pinned him up against a serving hatch. After that he was in a coma until the new year, then he'd lost his club, his legs and his will to live. His father was a snooker player who reached the 2nd round of the 1967 UK Championships in Sheffield, although he had to retire halfway through his match after he mistook the pink ball for larger than life comedian Roy 'Chubby' Brown
Brian took over the Aquarius Club after losses were seen, and soon with his management, he had big-name acts such as Bob Carolgees and Spit the Dog, Cannon and Ball and T'Pau, and was soon making profits on the bar of over £500 per night. However, after staying in late, most likely counting money, he was befallen by a tragic accident when the club flooded and a One-armed bandit fell over, crushing his legs, making him disabled. He had it rebuilt as the Neptune Club, opened in time for Talent Trek 1999. The Neptune burned down soon after, due to Potter's thriftiness on Christmas lights.
There was a discrepancy in the fact that at the end of the episode of That Peter Kay Thing which Brian was in, he stood up at the end after seeing the Neptune on fire. Peter Kay however admitted that the clip was something that had been added by the producer he was working with, and the idea of Brian's disability being fake was abandoned after the plot did not fit into Phoenix Nights.
After the Neptune burnt down, it was rebuilt as the Phoenix Club, Brian Potter remaining the owner. The club succeeded in hosting the final of Talent Trek. Den Perry, the owner of Banana Grove and Brian's nemesis, was said to have been "crying in his beer" when The Phoenix Club got Talent Trek, according to Brian. Perry showed up at the club on the night of the final, acting friendly to Brian. But after the Talent Trek final Perry discarded his cigar in the Gents Toilets, setting a fire in the club, as intended when he threw it in the bin full of tissue paper, but which also happened to contain Paddy's flammable can of hairspray which triggered the fire.
Brian was taken to court and lost his license to run a club because of dodgy fire safety precautions. They lost the brewery, but Brian was not defeated. He decided to reopen the club, planning to make it a Super club serving food as well. He went to visit an old friend and fellow club owner called Frank Cartwright (played by Jim Bowen), who advised him to get somebody who he could manipulate to become licensee, so Brian could still run it without the licensee suspecting.
Brian picked Jerry St Clair as that man, although Jerry was not completely sure that they could run a club without a brewery. Brian sent Max and Paddy to pick up a truck load of beer from France to use at the club and everything was going all right. Of course Den Perry was not out of the picture yet.
After their success and the stowaways picked up from France (two Chinese men) they opened a new part of the club called the Golden Phoenix where they served Chinese food. The Brewery became interested in re-establishing itself with the club and they put on a show of Stars in their Eyes for them. Den Perry was caught admitting to burning the club down and arrested. Brian had his license back but decided to let Jerry continue as licensee.
In his appearance in Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere he was trying to release Max and Paddy from prison. He got people to sign a petition, made T-shirts, a website for their release and various other things. When he came to visit them in prison they warned him to leave them to sort it out.
Of course Brian just could not do that and went on the news about it. After everybody in the prison saw it on the television and knew that Max and Paddy had lied about being professional robbers, so they could get better facilities in the prison. When they were eventually released the first thing they did was get onto the biological weapons department and they went down to the Phoenix club and it was closed for a few weeks while it was investigated. The people present at the club were all hosed down for chemicals.
Brian is a widower to Jean, as discussed in episode 4 of series 1 of Phoenix Nights when talking to Jerry about "tactical manoeuvres".
Recent cameo appearances of Brian include him introducing Des Kaye in the Little Britain Live special DVD. Brian went to #1 in the charts in March 2007, singing with The Proclaimers and Andy Pipkin from Little Britain on "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)", with proceeds going to Comic Relief.
He also appeared as Brian for Sports Relief and after talking to Max and Paddy about the biological weapons department and how it took weeks before they were allowed to reopen he sings a song by Chumbawumba.