Peter Kay making TV comeback for BBC's Big Night In coronavirus fundraiser

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Comedian Peter Kay performs at Croke Park on July 29, 2006. (Photo by ShowBizIreland/Getty Images)

Comedian Peter Kay will make his first television appearance in two years taking part in the BBC’s The Big Night In charity fundraiser later this month. Kay last appeared on TV in the two final episodes of his sitcom Car Share in May 2018.

Children In Need and Comic Relief are joining forces for the first time for the special TV broadcast, raising money in the fight against coronavirus.

The evening will include prize giveaways, live music performances from artists at home and a series of celebrity appearances, the BBC said.

Sir Lenny Henry announced comedians Kay and Catherine Tate and singer Gary Barlow were the first stars confirmed as taking part.

Peter Kay and Gary Barlow join Coldplay to perform at charity Crisis' "Hidden Gig" at the Royal Court Theatre on December 19, 2010. (Nick Pickles/WireImage)

Appearing via a video stream on The One Show, Sir Lenny promised a "fantastic night" to "cheer people up in this terrible crisis".

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He added: "And if people of course want to donate they can give a bit of money to help all of the vulnerable, smaller charities across the country who work with people of any age and any background who need it.

"And even if you can't donate just watch, it'll cheer you up."

46-year-old Kay has kept a low public profile since cancelling his last stand up tour three years ago. Peter Kay Live: Have Gags, Will Travel was scheduled to begin touring in 2018, but he cancelled all future work, including the tour, on 13 December, 2017, citing “unforeseen family circumstances”.

Money raised from The Big Night In will be split equally between Children In Need and Comic Relief to provide support to local projects and programmes across the UK, the BBC said.

Charlotte Moore, director BBC Content, said: "BBC One will bring the nation together for this special one-off live charity event.

"I would like to thank both BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief for joining forces in these unprecedented times to provide their support to local charities, projects and programmes across the whole UK; and to all of the stars taking part in this unmissable night of entertainment when the country needs it most."

Gary Barlow posing with Pudsey at BBC Radio 2 Weekend Wogan In Aid Of BBC Children In Need at The Savoy Theatre on October 30, 2011. (Jon Furniss/WireImage)

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the programme is a "fantastic way to channel the amazing outpouring of generosity we are seeing from the British people".

The show will be broadcast on BBC One on 23 April between 7-10pm.