Phoenix Nights star Archie Kelly, aka habitual liar Kenny Senior, will be the star turn when Everton FC hosts a comedy night at Goodison Park.
The Manchester City season ticket holder will be joined on stage for the Thursday April 9 event by two Evertonians – comedian Jamie Sutherland and the Blues’ matchday host and entertainer, Pete Emmett.
And paying tribute to Everton, Archie says: “I know what the last manager, David Moyes, meant when he called it the People’s Club. The other lot probably thought he was having a go, but I don’t think he was. And I think Manchester City have a similar philosophy. Both clubs have a family feel, and I think some big clubs have lost that.”
Archie, himself, has only recently given up playing 11-a-side football for a celebrity charity team – having graced the likes of Wembley Stadium and the Etihad, the home of his beloved Manchester City. And he recalls the day he played at Stoke City, when Pele was his side’s manager and Archbishop Desmond Tutu its trainer.
The Pele XI took on a Banks XI in 2008, to mark the unveiling of a statue of the ex-England and Stoke City goalkeeper Gordon Banks, and Archie says: “It was quite surreal!
“We were asked if any of us spoke Portuguese and I said I did, because I studied Spanish and Portuguese at university. So as I spoke to Pele, all my team-mates were sitting there open-mouthed. Then a young lad who had been in Hollyoaks asked ‘What did he say?’ I said ‘Well, he told me he loves Phoenix Nights but he asked who all these other people were!’”
The Phoenix Nights cast raised more than £5m for Comic Relief
Regarding the recent Phoenix Nights reunion shows at Manchester Arena – which raised £5,031,146.47 for Comic Relief – Archie says: “It was incredible – but I don’t know who put in that 47p! Technically, I raised more money than everyone else because I went out into the audience with a Comic Relief bucket – so, actually, that 47p is probably down to me!”
Recalling the upsetting first night, when Liverpool actor Ted Robbins (aka Den Perry) collapsed on stage, Archie says: “Just before I went on Ted gave me a big hug and we had a chat – then I was in make-up getting all my Britney Spears stuff taken off and Paddy (McGuinness) told me Ted had collapsed. It was a massive shock. It was so lucky that a heart specialist was sitting next to Richard Curtis (one of the founders of Comic Relief) in the audience. He was incredible.
“Ted later rang us up and was talking about how he suffered 12 broken ribs (as his life was being saved). Someone said ‘The heart guy got your heart going after breaking a couple of ribs – but he had seen your act so he carried on!’ Ted loved that!”
Ted Robbins says he’s ‘lucky to be alive’ in first interview since Phoenix Nights collapse
As for the prospect of a third Phoenix Nights TV series – 13 years after the end of the second series – Archie reveals: “At Paddy’s wedding two years ago, Peter (Kay) was saying he had written other episodes, and you never say ‘Never‘. We had so much fun doing the live shows that I think everyone would jump at the chance. But if it’s left any longer it will have to be set in an old people’s home!”
The Everton comedy night will be held in the Peoples’ Club lounge on Thursday, April 9. Tickets cost £24, which includes a gourmet burger and chips. Doors open at 7pm, with food served before the entertainment. For more information or to book tickets, call 0151 530 5300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org