Peter Kay has announced that he is taking a break from stand-up to focus on a new TV project in which he will play a rich Irish businessman who goes undercover to work amongst the staff at his coach company.
During 2010 and 2011, the Bolton-born comedian performed to 1.2 million people during his The Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour... Now On Tour gigs. The mammoth arena tour, which consisted of over 100 dates, including 20 evenings at the Manchester Arena, saw Kay set a number of new stand-up records.
However, he has now said that he has "overdosed" on stand-up and will take a break from live performing in order to focus his energies on creating a new TV show.
His last TV project - Britain's Got The Pop Factor And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice - a spoof of reality TV shows in which he played a singer called Geraldine McQueen, aired on Channel 4 in 2008.
Kay is now working with the channel again on a new spoof, this time of the Secret Millionaire and Undercover Boss formats in which a rich businessman goes undercover to see what life is like at a 'grass roots' level.
The news of the project was revealed during an interview on Radio 2 show Steve Wright In The Afternoon. When asked by host Steve Wright what his plans are now the tour is over, Kay replied: "I'll go back and do characters now. Go back to writing characters. I've been so lucky to be able to do Geraldine and Phoenix Nights and Max & Paddy, and I'll go back and write something new for television."
He then elaborated: "I'm already doing something on Channel 4 next year. It's like a spoof of Secret Millionaire. I'm playing an old Irish guy from Limerick who runs a coach company. So it's nice to be able to put the stand-up away and put a wig on, and some false teeth, and be somebody else for a while, and do that for a few years."
He admitted that he felt burnt out from performing live, saying: "I think the thing with stand-up is, you've got to respect the 'cycle'. It may take a few years to want to do it again. Hopefully I'll feel like I really want to go back and do it. But I feel like I've overdosed on that for a while and I just want to go back and do some acting."
Kay's first TV series was That Peter Kay Thing in 2000, in which he played various characters. He has since worked on both the hit sitcom Phoenix Nights and its spin-off, Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere. His last scripted TV show was the aforementioned Britain's Got The Pop Factor And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice, which received a mixed reaction from critics and viewers.
Kay was appearing on Steve Wright In The Afteroon to plug Peter Kay Live & Back On Nights, a new DVD featuring footage that wasn't included in the main Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour DVD released last year.
Story Update, 5th December: The programme has been confirmed as Malachy's Millions. Kay will Malachy Mooney, a man who has made his money through his coach empire The Mooneys, with its tagline 'Taking You Away From Everything You Know'. Details
Below is a clip from Kay's stand-up show in which he jokes about The Secret Millionaire format: