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Peter John Kay (born 2 July 1973) is an English comedian and actor. Kay has written, produced, and acted in several television and film projects, and authored three books. Born and brought up in Bolton, Lancashire to a family of Irish descent, Kay studied media performance at the University of Salford. He began working part-time as a stand-up comedian, winning the North West Comedian of the Year award. In 1997 he won Channel 4's So You Think You're Funny contest and the following year was nominated for a Perrier Award for his show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. With his public profile raised, in 2000 he co-wrote and starred in That Peter Kay Thing for Channel 4. This resulted in a spin-off sitcom, Phoenix Nights, which ran for two series from 2001 to 2002, and in turn generated another spin-off, Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere, in 2004. In 2005, he recorded a promotional video in which he mimed to Tony Christie's 1971 hit "Is This the Way to Amarillo", which was re-released in aid of the Children In Need charity and credited to "Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay". The song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart. In 2008, he co-wrote and starred in Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice, a parody of reality television shows. As the series' fictional protagonist Geraldine McQueen, he released the single "The Winner's Song", which reached number two in the singles chart. His 2010–11 stand-up comedy tour was officially inaugurated into the Guinness World Records as the most successful of all time, playing to over 1.2 million people. He co-wrote and starred in Peter Kay's Car Share, a sitcom screened by the BBC for two series between 2015 and 2017. He also starred in the 2015 BBC sitcom Cradle to Grave. In 2016, Kay won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Male Comedy Performance, the BAFTA TV Award for Best Scripted Comedy and the National Television Award for Best Comedy for Car Share. He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Salford.

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