Anorak News | Nights To Remember

Nights To Remember

by | 22nd, August 2002

‘IF YOUR only experience of Peter Kay is his monosyllabic contributions as a talking (or rather, grunting) head on I Love Whichever Decade I’m Being Paid To Reminisce About This Week, then the chances are you won’t have bothered watching his comedy drama Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights.

Peter Kay

If this is the case, then you should rectify the situation tonight by tuning in to Channel 4 at 10pm. You will be pleasantly surprised to find the funniest and most observant programme currently on our screens.

Kay plays the wheelchair-bound manager of a cheap and tacky social club in Bolton. His meanness and consequent corner-cutting meant that he failed to replace the battery in a smoke alarm in the gents’ toilet, and the club burnt down at the end of the last series.

His license was taken away, and his life was in ruins until a fellow club-owner suggested going back into business using another person to front the operation. The Phoenix duly rose from the flames, and was re-launched last week with a disastrous family fun day.

The joy of Phoenix nights comes from the sharpness of the observation, but also the basic sympathy for the characters. It doesn’t sneer, but it never slips into sentimentality either. It’s a gem, and deserves a prime-time spot and a huge audience. Given the chance, it could follow the Royle Family’s example and achieve mainstream success.

Posted: 22nd, August 2002 | In: Celebrities Comment | TrackBack | Permalink