That Peter Kay Thing

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That Peter Kay Thing
Created by Peter Kay
Written by Neil Fitzmaurice
Peter Kay
Dave Spikey
Gareth Hughes
Directed by Andrew Gillman
Starring Peter Kay
Paddy McGuinness
Dave Spikey
Toby Foster
Mark Jackson
Neil Fitzmaurice
Sian Foulkes
Daniel Kitson
Kristian Tiffany
Kay Kelley
Beatrice Kelley
Steve Edge
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 7 (inc. pilot)
Production
Executive producer(s) Addison Cresswell
Producer(s) Ivan Douglass
Sandie Kirk
Cinematography Ian Hilton
Editor(s) Adrian Conway
Running time 30 Mins (inc. adverts)
Release
Original network Channel 4
Picture format 4:3
Original release 13 January –
18 February 2000
Chronology
Followed by Phoenix Nights (2001–02)
Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere (2004)

That Peter Kay Thing is a series of six spoof documentaries shown on Channel 4 in 2000. It was written by Peter Kay, Dave Spikey, Neil Fitzmaurice and Gareth Hughes, and was directed by Andrew Gillman. The series was narrated by Andrew Sachs. Set in and around Bolton, each episode functions as a self-contained documentary following a different set of characters, many of them played by Kay. The pilot episode, "The Services", was shown in 1998 as an episode of Comedy Lab, a series which showcases pilots of experimental comedy shows. Many of the characters went on to appear in the successful spin-off series Phoenix Nights.

Episode list[edit]

No. Title Original broadcast date
Pilot "The Services" 9 November 1998 (1998-11-09)
Set in a service station just outside Bolton, made for Channel Four's Comedy Lab. The episode charts a day in the life of the unruly station manager Pearl Hardman and her employees, including the depressed teenager Matthew Kelly. Panic then ensues when they discover that Bob Carolgees may be stopping at the station.
1 "In the Club" 12 January 2000 (2000-01-12)
Set in the Neptune Club, a working men's establishment. It follows the grand final of the annual Talent Trek 99 competition. Characters include the club's social secretary Brian Potter, the club's compère Jerry St. Clair, the bouncers Max and Paddy and the house band Les Alanos.
2 "Eyes Down" 19 January 2000 (2000-01-19)
Set in the Apollo Bingo Hall, the episode follows a day in the life of the customers and employees, including the idealistic Patrick O'Neil—an ambitious teenage employee who does not like working at the hall—his friends Yvonne and Sparky, the arrogant bingo caller Tom Dale, the owner Ron Hibbert (who is afraid of Tom) and the various old women who inhabit the club.
3 "The Ice Cream Man Cometh" 26 January 2000 (2000-01-26)
This episode revolves around the fading popularity of local ice cream vans. The subject of the documentary is Mr Softytop, an ice-cream man who resents every aspect of his job and has an intense dislike of children. He often verbally assaults his customers and Darren, his assistant. His attempts to boost sales include inventing the "Millennium Cone", selling at the sites of road traffic accidents and renting pornography. To make matters worse, he has to compete with a new competitor: Signór Wippy. The second half of the episode is set in at Leverhulme Park's Bolton Show, where Mr Softytop runs out of ice cream and has a psychotic episode. This results in the final triumph of Signór Wippy, although he is later exposed as an illegal immigrant. Mr Softytop leaves the ice-cream business and goes on to open a sex shop called Softy's Hard Stuff, while Darren takes over the van.
4 "The Arena" 2 February 2000 (2000-02-02)
Set in the Manchester Evening News Arena, this episode follows the staff and customers preparing for a Super Sounds of the Seventies Night. The incompetent Matthew Kelly is employed as a steward, having only applied in order to see concerts for free. He is hassled by Live Sec's Chris and Sean, and is angry when, instead of stewarding the concert, he is left in charge of the car park.
5 "Leonard" 9 February 2000 (2000-02-09)
The episode follows Leonard, a local eccentric, in the run-up to his receiving an award for being Britain's oldest paper boy. Leonard introduces other local eccentrics including The Duke, who walks around Bolton drawing his fingers from his pockets as if they were guns and shouting "John Wayne!", and Carl, who waves at cars. His aunt claims he was over-protected by his mother, and, as much as he likes to be everybody's friend, he has no real friends of his own. This does not break Leonard's spirit and he remains optimistic throughout.
6 "Lonely at the Top (The Marc Park Story)" 9 February 2000 (2000-02-09)
A documentary following the rise and fall of Marc Park, 12 months after he won Talent Trek at the Neptune Club. After rising to fame as part of pop group Park Avenue, Park dumped partner Cheryl Avenue when she became pregnant. After two or three hits, he found he was being portrayed as a villain in another documentary focusing on Cheryl's struggles as an unemployed single mother. Eventually he returns to his job as a greengrocer whilst Cheryl becomes a star, much to the frustration of Marc.

Characters[edit]

Reception[edit]

That Peter Kay Thing won the Best New TV Comedy award at the British Comedy Awards.[1]

Legacy[edit]

A number of the characters in That Peter Kay Thing, including Brian Potter, Max and Paddy, and Jerry St Clair went on to become central characters in the highly successful spinoff series Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere.[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]