Bitter feuds, death hoaxes and stage collapse – Phoenix Nights cast’s next moves

Who could have ever predicted a show centred around grumpy folk supping pints in a grubby Bolton Working Men’s Club would be a stable of British comedy 20 years on?

But two decades later, Phoenix Nights is still loved by millions.

The show's anniversary on Thursday offered throwbacks aplenty, and fans were taken on a welcome nostalgia trip from glorious episodes of years gone by.

The hit helped shaped careers but also sparked spats and almost cost one cast member his life.

Many of the show's stars have gone on to do great things, while some left the limelight behind to take their lives in another direction.

So as Phoenix Nights turns 20, we take a look at the main stars and find out what they have been up to since the beer stained, fag-smelling curtain came down at the club back in 2003.

Peter Kay

Playing trio Brian Potter, Max and Keith Winston Lard, Peter is one of the country's biggest names in comedy.

From his award winning sitcom Car Share to his vastly successful stand up shows, Phoenix Nights truly was just the start.

But the star has been pretty much absent from our screens for nearly three years and nobody really knows why.

After axing his tour and all other work indefinitely, his disappearance was immediate. Worried fans wondered what had happened to their comedy favourite – who has since been hit by three cruel death hoaxes.

But in February 2020, he announced his comeback – unveiling plans to host six Dance For Life shows in London, Liverpool and Manchester for Cancer Research UK before Covid put paid to his return.

Paddy McGuinness

Peter's best mate is often found by his side after starring in the hit programme.

Paddy, who used his own name for the show's character, has gone on to become a household name and is a firm favourite on ITV dating show Take Me Out.

But it was "no likey" from his wife Christine in 2018 after she was left "heartbroken and humiliated" after the TV star "lied" to her over a night out with Nicole Appleton.

They patched things up and are very much going strong.

Neil FitzMaurice

Playing the lovable Ray Von, fans couldn't get enough of Bolton's superstar DJ.

Neil Fitzmaurice stayed in the public eye after he left the Working Man's Club and had a big hand in comedy smash Peep Show.

He featured alongside the likes of David Mitchell, Robert Webb and even Olivia Coleman as Jeff, the love rival and enemy of Mark Corrigan.

He also starred in the hit Sky comedy Brassic alongside Joseph Gilgun and Michelle Keegan and in the BBC Three comedy The First Team.

Ted Robbins

Ted, who plays Den Perry in the show, collapsed on stage during the opening night of a revival of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights in 2015.

He was in the middle of a solo section when he clutched his chest, stumbled and fell to the ground.

His illness forcing its cancellation, the shocked crowd were horrified and deeply concerned.

In 2019 he had to be put on oxygen after he inhaled smoke following a house fire at his home in Crawshawbooth.

Since the show stopped, he has gone on to star in Benidorm, Birds of a Feather as well as The League of Gentlemen

Dave Spikey

The talented actor was actually the co-writer alongside Kay in Phoenix Nights – but their relationship turned sour.

He claims co-writer and Bolton comic Peter Kay took all of the credit for himself.

Dave told the Manchester Evening News : “He rang me and Neil Fitzmaurice, the other writer on Phoenix Nights, and said we’d been nominated for a Writers Guild Of Great Britain award.

“We thought it was fantastic, only for it to go away and for us to discover that actually we hadn’t been nominated, it was only Peter.

“And you think, ‘Well, he’s probably not going to accept that because of all the work we did.'

“There were three writers. If you’re talking about the person who sat down at the end and collated everything and wrote it, then that was Peter. If that’s how you qualify, by putting the words on the paper, then so be it."

Sally Lindsay

Ray Von’s on screen girlfriend Tracey went on to star as Coronation Street’s Shelley Unwin.

Not happy with putting people in their place on the cobbles, she also joined the Loose Women panel.

Taking up the role of Lisa Johnson in the Sky One comedy series Mount Pleasant, she later went on to play Kath Agnew in the BBC sitcom Still Open All Hours.

She turned down I'm A Celebrity – and in 2019 refused to rule out a Corrie return.

Justin Moorehouse

Young Kenny always offered a giggle – but the actor has opted for a quieter life than others since the show ended.

Justin Moorehouse has enjoyed moderate success post Phoenix Nights, going on to star in the blockbuster film Looking For Eric, alongside the ex-pro Eric Cantona.

He briefly appeared as Dean Upton on Coronation Street in 2014.

He now hosts his own podcast called Justin Moorhouse About 30 Minutes No More Than 45.

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