List of Phoenix Nights characters

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This is a list of characters in Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights:

Brian Potter (aka "Ironside")[edit]

Played by Peter Kay, Potter is the club's owner and licensee of the Phoenix Club. After an accident involving a fruit machine, he began using a wheelchair. He is known for his cutting corners, thrifty nature with money and general truculence towards the staff.

His trademarks include picking his nose, drinking spirits from a tall vase (which allows him to reach the spirit optic) and his brown Cardigan

His famous phrases are, "I don't know if you've noticed but i'm disabled", "Sweet Jesus of Nazareth", "Shut up you girl" and "Get up you girl"

Brian is a widower to Jean, as discussed in episode 4 of series 1 of Phoenix Nights when talking to Jerry about "tactical manoeuvres".

His ambition is to see the Phoenix Club thrive and prosper, and to outdo his rival Den Perry in the process.

It was also revealed in That Peter Kay Thing he previously ran a club called The Neptune,

Brian also ran a club previously which flooded and whilst trying to rescue the nights takings from the cash box during the flood Brian was pinned behind a Fruit Machine and injured his spine, this is why he uses a wheelchair during That Peter Kay thing and Phoenix Nights.

Jerry 'St. Clair' Dignan[edit]

Played by Dave Spikey, Jerry is the club's hapless compere and (in the second series) the club's licensee. Jerry is the fall guy of the programme, receiving more than his fair share of bad luck including scalding, cancer scares and speeding fines. He suffered from illness in the first series and became addicted to herbal medication in series two. He takes great pride in organising the bingo, and his "Free & Easy" night at the club, both of which are popular with the local pensioners, as is his singing act in conjunction with Les Alanos, the club's in-house band. A recurring joke in the show is Jerry singing "easy listening", pensioner-friendly versions of recent chart hits.

When Brian loses his licence to run the club, Jerry takes a job at Asda singing songs such as "Black Binbags" (based on "Men In Black" by Will Smith) and "Corned Beef" (based on "Call Me" by Petula Clark) to make money.

In series two, Jerry is unwittingly talked into becoming the "puppet" licensee, which is in truth a cover for Brian to run the club after his licence is revoked.

Jerry is frequently seen chauffeuring Brian Potter to and from the club as well as to meetings in his Rover 800. Jerry receives a driving fine after evading the police when pursued for speeding following Brian's encouragement to return to the club quickly to cover up lax fire safety precautions.

Ray Von[edit]

Played by Neil Fitzmaurice, Ray is a former fairground gypsy and the club's general handyman and DJ. His name – possibly a stage name – is a play on the phrase "Rave On!". He is one of the 'backbone' characters within the club and something of a standout among the hangers-on with his hard work and common sense.

Ray first starred in series one after he helped keep the club open following a power cut by rigging the electrics up to a street lamp. He is recognisable by his 1980s clothing and mullet hairstyle, and noted for his habit of calling out "Shabba!" as a catchphrase when DJing – no matter how inappropriate this is to the song.

He was rumoured (falsely) to have spent time in prison for killing his girlfriend, Tracy Burns, which Brian Potter believed – even though it was totally out of character for Ray's easy-going, cool nature. Duped, Potter was fearful of Ray until, to his great relief, he met Tracy in person in the club.

Potter referred to Ray as "The Yorkshire Rapper".

Patrick 'Paddy' O'Shea[edit]

Played by Paddy McGuinness, Paddy is one half of the club's doorstaff. Known for his 'cheeky chappie' image, his sex obsessed attitude and gullible persona, 'Paddy' tends to be quite successful with girls, unlike colleague Max. In the first series, due to some cruel remarks from other members of staff (especially Max) he was paranoid about his hair, believing he was starting to go bald (though he seemingly has a full head of hair).

Maxwell 'Max' Bygraves[edit]

Played by Peter Kay, Max is the other half of the doorstaff. Known for his no-nonsense approach he claims to be a serious bouncer, and a bit of a hard-man, which in reality is far from the truth. He also claims to have had more life experience than he has actually had, for example he claims to have had a stint in the army. In series two he was (unsuccessfully) employed as a hitman.

Kenny 'Dalglish' Senior[edit]

Played by Archie Kelly, Kenny Senior, (not to be confused with the footballer Kenny Dalglish) is Bolton's biggest liar. Most of his statements are either vastly exaggerated or complete lies, he is something of a Walter Mitty. According to him, amongst other things he has played swingball in Pwllheli with Robert De Niro, slept with Bonnie Langford, appeared on Centre Court at Wimbledon despite being unseeded, and got Jackie Chan a price for some paint. His role within the club is unclear, however in the first episode in Series 1, he is seen on the roof, getting the lights ready.

Interestingly, in some instances it is left unclear whether Kenny may actually be telling the truth. In episode 3 of the first Series, Kenny tells fire safety officer Keith Lard of his days firefighting in Mexico with Red Adair. Lard responds sarcastically, challenging Kenny to speak in "Mexican". Kenny responds in fluent Spanish, but nobody hears.

Examples of Kenny's more flagrant lying include:

  • "I'm very friendly with the SAS!" - Kenny Senior
    "But you see you're not Kenny!" - Brian Potter
  • "Can you get mules in Japan?" - Joyce
    "I can!" - Kenny Senior

Les Campbell[edit]

Les (played by Toby Foster), forms one half of the club's backing band, Les Alanos (whose name they explain comes from the two members - "Les, Alan: us"). The resident guitarist and drummer, he is looking for a way into the entertainment business. From playing at the Phoenix Club, to staging a play with Alan and the local youth group (based on the Karate Kid), Les strives to make it in the business.

Alan[edit]

Alan (played by Steve Edge), is the other half of Les Alanos, the resident Organ player. Quieter than Les, he is somewhat the "sidekick" of the duo, mixing his musical work with a job as a lorry driver for haulage company Sweet Truck Haul. It is unclear what Alan's surname is. During the first series, he is referred to as 'Alan Johnson,' however in the second series on a poster for Les and Alan's production of 'The Karate Kid', he is listed as 'Alan Dalton'.

Young Kenny[edit]

Young Kenny (played by Justin Moorhouse), is a quietly spoken handyman at the club. Not seen as the sharpest knife in the drawer, he frequently misunderstands questions posed by other characters, or makes completely irrelevant diversions in the middle of conversations. He is a supporter of Manchester City F.C, and is always seen wearing the club's shirt. From Episode 8 onwards his face is permanently made up to look like a tiger, the result of a botched face-painting job at Brian's family fun day.

Holy Mary[edit]

Holy Mary (played by Janice Connolly), is a cleaner and member of the bar staff at the club. A devout Catholic, her kindly, hardworking nature makes her a popular addition to the club. She is often seen wearing a sky-blue Princess Diana sweatshirt. Her daughter also named Mary, a part-time worker at the club, is dating ladies-man club bouncer "Paddy", something Holy Mary is not too happy about, although she keeps a brave face about it. She has an unseen son, Joseph, who is studying Woodwork.

Spencer[edit]

Spencer (played by Daniel Kitson), is one of the bar staff at the club, whose previous bar experience includes watching the film "Cocktail" six times. A likable, but naive young man, he returns to the club following a disastrous spell as the club's DJ. Despite not impressing at the interview, he is swiftly employed by Jerry St.Clair after revealing that his wages will be paid by the DSS.

Den Perry[edit]

Den Perry (played by Ted Robbins), is the owner of rival club "The Banana Grove", and is the 'bad guy' of the series. He prides himself on running the best social club in Bolton, and ruthlessly finds ways of sabotaging the Phoenix Club. At the end of series one, he sets fire to the club by throwing his cigar into a paper towel bin. Like all bad guys though, he eventually gets his comeuppance. It is unclear what Perry's full first name is, since Brian Potter refers to him as both Dennis and Denzel.

Tracey Burns[edit]

Tracey Burns (played by Sally Lindsay) is a minor character. A former winner of "Junior Talent Trek", she is rumoured by Les and Alan to have been murdered by her boyfriend, Ray Von. The rumours are proved false when Tracy turns up with Ray at the club's "Singles Night", much to Brian Potter's amazement.

Ant & Dec[edit]

Ant & Dec (played by Julian Sua & Wai Kee Chan) are two illegal immigrants from Asia, who appear in the second series. They are unwittingly smuggled into the country by Max & Paddy, who are returning to Bolton after a 'booze cruise' from Calais. Despite being illegal immigrants, and being unable to speak a word of English, Brian Potter's thrifty ways soon sees them being employed as chefs at the club. Potter also christens them Ant & Dec (after the famous Geordie duo). Their cheerful nature and cooking skill (after learning not to stir fry chips), makes them a success.

Other characters[edit]

Keith Lard is portrayed as an overzealous jobsworth who takes immense pride in his work raising awareness of fire safety through training seminars and safety inspections. He despises people's apathy and seemingly ignorant attitude toward fire safety, often scaring his bored audience with an air horn.
Dodgy Eric appears in Episode 2 of both Season 1 and Season 2. In Season 1, Eric sells a bucking bronco to Brian Potter as a replacement for a faulty snooker table. In Season 2, Eric brings Brian an inflatable bouncy castle, which appears to be shaped like an erect penis when inflated, but is disguised as a snake by Eric.
  • Marion - Beatrice Kelley
  • Joyce - Enid Dunn
  • Beverley - Jo Enright
  • Crimetime Host - Stuart Maconie
  • Gavin 'The Captain' Gladstone (played by Ced Beaumont) is a former door man to the club, who is known to have charged people 20p to get in to the club. He only had one eye, with one having been blown out in the Normandy D - Day invasion. He died of an asthma attack in episode two of series one, following the malfunction of a smoke machine.