Peter Kay audiobook excerpts reveal squabble with Paul McCartney and how Phoenix Nights led him to espionage

Virgin Radio

27 Sep 2023, 13:45

Peter Kay on stage and a photo of his book cover

Credit: Getty/Amazon

Peter Kay fans are about to gain a new insight into the beloved comedian’s love affair with TV, and how it has influenced his illustrious career.

The star’s television-focused memoir - T.V. - Big Adventures on the Small Screen - is due for release on 28th September, and is packed full of wonderful stories about the stand-up star’s memories and adventures with TV.

One such memory shared in a preview clip from its audiobook (read by Kay) is the 50-year-old’s recollection of meeting with Paul McCartney ahead of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012.

Kay was hosting the evening’s entertainment, and had been hoping to mime playing The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ on the pan pipes ahead of introducing McCartney for the final performance of the evening.

However, when the two met up before the show, the comedian was disappointed to discover Sir Paul was hoping to play the same song as part of his own set.

“We went through the list of songs he was planning on performing, but one of them was ‘Let it be,’” the comedian reads in the clip, shared with courtesy of HarperCollins. 

“‘But I’m doing that,’ I said in a mild panic,” the story continued. “‘We can’t both do it. Do you have to do it?’ He said: ‘Well I’d like to,’” Kay revealed.

“Then I had to take a step back. I thought ‘This, right now, this is probably the most mental thing that has ever happened to me,” the Car Share star said. “I’m backstage, at Buckingham Palace, in a portacabin, telling Paul McCartney not to sing ‘Let It Be’.”

Discover who won the stars’ momentary squabble by listening to the full audio snippet here:

Another story Kay shares in T.V. is how doing research for Phoenix Nights led him to buy some spy equipment, including a recordable pen, in order to secretly record interviews he was doing with real-life club owners.

“It looked just like a big biro,” the star explained in another excerpt from his audiobook. “But it had a microphone concealed inside, which I then plugged into a dictaphone in my pocket.”

Elaborating on his choice to mount a covert recording operation, the Guinness World Record holder for most successful stand-up show said: “I did this because I wanted them to be themselves, and I thought they’d behave differently if they knew they were being recorded.”

However, the arrangement also had its problems, not least because Kay lived in fear an owner would turn violent if they noticed they were being recorded.

“I would worry in case one of them would reach for the pen in my pocket and drag me across the table,” the star revealed in his book.

Discover more about the problems which Kay’s secretive operation created in the full audiobook clip below:

Peter Kay’s book T.V. - Big Adventures on the Small Screen, is out on Thursday 28th September.