Peter Kay cancels first live tour in eight years

Comedian Peter Kay has cancelled his first live stand-up tour in eight years, citing "unforeseen family circumstances".

The eagerly anticipated UK and Ireland tour was due to begin in Birmingham in April, with dates through to 2019.

In a statement posted on his official Twitter account on Wednesday, the Bolton-born comic said: "Due to unforeseen family circumstances, I deeply regret that I am having to cancel all of my upcoming work projects. This unfortunately includes my upcoming stand-up tour, Dance For Life shows and any outstanding live work commitments.

"My sincerest apologies. This decision has not been taken lightly and I'm sure you'll understand my family must always come first.

"I've always endeavoured to protect my family's privacy from the media. I hope that the media and the public will continue to respect our privacy at this time.

"Once again, I'm very sorry."

The news comes weeks after Kay added extra performance dates to the tour after huge public demand.

Shortly after tickets for the initial 26 gigs went on sale in November, he tripled the line-up of events to more than 80, including a total of 16 shows in his home town of Manchester.

Announcing his return to the stage, he said: "I really miss it. I know how lucky I am to be making television series and have really loved these past few years working on Car Share, but I miss doing stand-up.

"As terrifying as it is, when it works there's nothing more fun and exciting. Plus, a lot has happened in the last eight years, with Trump, Twitter and my Nan getting her front bush trimmed at the age of 96.

"I can't wait to get back up on stage."

In recent years, Kay has delighted fans with his hit Bafta-winning TV series, Car Share, which will conclude with two further episodes.

What to do if you have a ticket to one of Peter Kay's shows

If you have a ticket to Peter Kay’s live arena tour or Dance For Life shows, you will receive a refund from the place you purchased your tickets, which is where any ticket queries should be directed to.

The statement on Peter Kay's Twitter accounts adds that as Dance For Life is charitable event in aid of Cancer Research UK, ticket holders may still wish to make a donation to the charity despite the events being cancelled.