Sheffield radio star back on nights – Phoenix style

The cast of Phoenix Nights.
The cast of Phoenix Nights.
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“Somewhere in clubland, a man in a dinner suit blows the dust off his drum kit...” tweeted South Yorkshire comedian Toby Foster.

And in doing so, the 45-year-old BBC Radio Sheffield breakfast show presenter confirmed he will be returning to his role as the club band drummer in the live stage version of hit TV comedy Phoenix Nights.

Toby Foster

Toby Foster

He is back on board with comedy genius Peter Kay and the rest of the original Channel 4 cast for a string of live shows in aid of Comic Relief next year.

However, Toby, he admits he still needs to master the drums for his role as Les Campbell, one half of the Phoenix Club’s backing band, Les Alanos.

Toby, from Barnsley, said: “When I landed the TV role, I told them I could play the drums. I couldn’t. I just wanted the part so much.

“I’ve now gone out and bought an electronic drum kit to rehearse at home.

“It’s going to be great fun, but we’ve all changed a bit since the original TV series. We now look like an older, bigger tribute act.”

Kay will revive his part as Brian Potter running his fictional working men’s club in Farnworth, as well as playing bouncer Max Bygraves.

Kay said: “It’s lovely to do it and I hope people support it, because it’ll be a belter.”

Announcing his plans, Kay said there would be shows at Manchester Arena on Saturday, January 31, and Sunday, February 1.

However, due to the huge demand for tickets when they went on sale yesterday, another 10 shows have been added in February.

Kay said the interest in the show, which ended in 2002, led to him regularly ‘being badgered on garage forecourts’, but said ‘it’s just taken a long time to get to that point that we’re at today’.

He said: “It’s only in Manchester, it’s not touring and all the money is going to Comic Relief, and that’s it.”

Kay – whose success as a stand-up comedian was sealed by the show – said he had no other plans for Phoenix Nights.

The 41-year-old said: “It’s a case of doing one thing at a time, little steps.

“I don’t know if any more will come off the back of it we’ll just have to see. I always like to do something for Comic Relief. I rang the cast and everybody’s doing it for free.”