Phoenix Nights is a British sitcom about The Phoenix Club,
a working men's club in the northern English town of Bolton, Greater
Manchester. The show was written by Neil Fitzmaurice,
Peter Kay and
Dave Spikey, produced by
Goodnight Vienna Productions
Goodnight Vienna Productions and Ovation
Entertainments, and was broadcast on
Channel 4 in the UK. All the
music was written by Toni Baker and Peter Kay. Additional material was
provided by Paddy McGuinness. Two series have been produced, which
were first transmitted in 2001 and 2002.
The show is a spin-off from the spoof documentary series That Peter
Kay Thing, and in turn gave rise to the spin-off Max and Paddy's Road
to Nowhere. It won the People's Choice Award at the British Comedy
Awards 2002, and was nominated for several others. Kay is also its
star, in multiple roles, and directed the second series.
2 The Phoenix Club
3 Filming location
5 Episode guide
5.1 Series 1
5.2 Series 2
7 Potential third series
8 See also
10 External links
Main article: List of
Phoenix Nights characters
The owner of
The Phoenix Club
The Phoenix Club is the wheelchair user Brian Potter
(played by Peter Kay), who has presided over two clubs in the past:
the first (The Aquarius) flooded, the second (The Neptune) burned
down. His ambition (with the help of Jerry St Clair) is to see The
Phoenix Club become the most popular in
Bolton and thus outdo his
Den Perry (Ted Robbins). Perry is the owner of rival club The
The Phoenix Club
The Phoenix Club
The Phoenix Club is a fictional working men's club in
The Phoenix Club
The Phoenix Club is home to entertainment of all types,
including Bingo, singing, cabaret and a wide range of themed nights.
The club was created and is run by Brian Potter along with his staff.
The club has a number of workers, all with their own part to it.
Brian Potter: Owner of the club, who goes to any extremes to keep it
Cabaret singer and fall guy of the show. He later
becomes licensee of the club
Ray Von: A former fairground gypsy and electrician, who is the club's
DJ and sound engineer.
Max and Paddy: The two doormen of the club.
Les and Alan: The two backing players with both drums and keyboard
known as "Les Alanos".
Kenny Senior: A handiworker at the club and habitual liar. Claims to
have stayed in a tent next to Robert De Niro in Pwllheli and beat him
Young Kenny: A young, rather simple handyman.
Mary (Holy Mary): Bar worker and devout Christian.
Spencer: Gormless but enthusiastic young barman.
Ant and Dec: Two illegal Chinese immigrants whom the club accidentally
brought into the country. Employed by thrifty Brian Potter as chefs.
Marion: Bar worker, cleaner and chef. She is good friends with Mary
and also works as Brian's occasional PA.
The club follows the layout of a typical working men's club, with a
large cabaret room along with a lounge area (called 'The Pennine
Suite' in the opening series). In an attempt to diversify and attract
more customers, the lounge is later converted into a successful
Chinese restaurant named "The Golden Phoenix". There is also a games
room in the club, that was named the "
Jocky Wilson Suite" in the first
series, and the "Tony Knowles Suite" in the second. In the first
series the room was shown as a home to the games supplied by "Dodgy
Eric" such as the wonky snooker table, the bucking bronco and the
child's aeroplane ride. In the second series, the games room is used
more as lounge and general social area with dining tables, although
there is a dartboard and a new snooker table. The solarium is also
just off through a door from this room. The Pennine Suite served as a
general large lounge and social area in the first series but was
seldom seen in the second series; it contains a small stage which was
used for Wednesday "free and easy" nights. Eventually it was replaced
by a brand new Chinese restaurant. The other room in the club is a
larger cabaret style room which plays host to larger features such as
Talent Trek and Stars in their Eyes.
As well as being set in Bolton,
Phoenix Nights is also filmed in the
area. The location for the club itself is St Gregory's Social Club on
Church Street a few miles from
Bolton in the town of Farnworth.
Max and Paddy return from France in Series 2, the location used
is Fleetwood Docks.
Throughout the two series of Phoenix Nights, an ongoing theme of the
show is the rivalry between The Phoenix Club, and local rival club
'The Banana Grove', run by the flamboyant Den Perry. Brian Potter will
devise ideas for the club to attract more customers, usually to the
disapproval of Jerry "The Saint" St.Clair. However, as more people
come to the club, the more popular the club becomes than its rivals,
but this is at the expense of Brian Potter's thrifty ways, cutting
corners in the running of the club wherever possible.
The second series follows on from the first. Following the staging of
the highly regarded local talent contest 'Talent Trek' a vengeful Den
Perry burns the club down. With the authorities taking a dim view of
Potter's poor attitude towards fire safety and suspending his license,
he then rebuilds the club on the cheap with Jerry as the licensee. The
club bounces back and regains its popularity, with schemes such as
placing a fake speed camera outside of the club to slow motorists
down, and a re-enactment of the club's arson on TV show Crimetime (a
parody of Crimewatch) in order to gain free advertising.
Den Perry unwittingly reveals to most of the local
clientele that he burned down the Phoenix Club, and the club is
It is the opening day of Brian Potter's new club, the Phoenix (having
had two previous clubs burn down while one flooded). With "TV's own
Roy Walker" opening the club that night, Brian wants everything to be
perfect. But he has to contend with a power cut that leaves the club
in the dark, the theft of the bingo machine, a German-speaking "Das
Boot" arcade machine, Max the doorman injuring himself and a racist
folk band called "Half A Shilling" (with the lead singer played by Tim
Healy). The band are ostensibly singing about Holy Communion Shoes,
although journalist Deborah Quinn detects the racist metaphor in the
song inappropriately named "Send The Buggers Back". These factors soon
ruin everything. The auditioning act at the end of the episode are a
pair of spacemen, one on a spinning disc, miming to a David Bowie
Ray Von accidentally kills The Captain with his home-made smoke
machine. Things go from bad to worse when two men in overalls walk in
off the street and steal the television set, with all of the staff
doing nothing about it, except for
Kenny Senior who kindly hands them
the remote control. A warped snooker table is replaced by a bucking
bronco, which leads to a Wild West Night being held. It's a huge
success, until Jerry's blatantly rigged shoot out between Lancashire
Yorkshire gets violent and a drunken horse tries to have sex with
the bucking bronco. The auditioning act at the end of the episode is
an escape artist, trapped in a bag.
Jerry St. Clair has booked psychic medium Clinton Baptiste (Alex Lowe)
for the club, who had been recommended by Den Perry. Jerry seems
oblivious to the fact that
Den Perry wants the Phoenix Club to fail.
Brian and Jerry then have to attend a fire safety seminar at the
Banana Grove Club presented by
Keith Lard (from That
Peter Kay Thing),
who was arrested for "interfering" with dogs, but was acquitted due to
lack of evidence. After the meeting, Lard tells Brian he will be
inspecting the club immediately to ensure it meets safety standards.
Jerry and Brian rush back to the club before Keith inspects it, but a
run-in with the police delays them and Keith shuts the club down for
being unsafe. Never a quitter, Brian blackmails Lard with a faked
photo of Lard's head on the body of a semi-nude man (with a dog) so
that he re-opens the club, but the event they re-open for, the psychic
night, forces Brian to refund all of his guests after Clinton Baptiste
tells a bit more about the future than the guests would like. The
auditioning act at the end of the episode is a bad juggler, breaking
It's 'Singles Night' at the Phoenix club and house band Les Alanos and
Max and Paddy are all looking. Brian is the most successful,
though, when he accidentally runs over a woman's foot before buying
her a drink and talking the night away. Throughout the episode, their
relationship progresses, until Beverley (played by Jo Enright) reveals
to Brian that she works for the DSS and was sent to investigate him
for fraudulent disability claims. Despite Beverley's assertions that
her feelings for him are genuine, Brian finishes with her. Elsewhere,
Paddy strikes up a relationship with Holy Mary's daughter Mary. The
Audition at the end of the episode is a man jumping around to 'nellie
the elephant' wearing little more than a Macintosh and a soft toy of
an elephant's trunk over his privates.
Jerry is in hospital. Before Brian argues with Jerry's decision to
host an alternative comedy night, the comedy night turns out to be a
disaster, with none of the entrants being any good. As one of the
acts, Steve Davies plays a placid metalwork teacher introduced as
'Darius' by Jerry. Darius comes on wearing only a pair of C&A
underpants with 'Darius' written in ink on his body, and proceeds to
have a psychotic episode with unintelligible language delivered
menacingly towards the audience and the house band onstage whilst
striking the drummer's cymbal with his hand. He is crying out to the
universe to complete his breakdown. A surreal moment in the midst of
all the other chaotic and incongruous acts before and after. At the
end of it all, Jerry has a heated confrontation with a student who had
been heckling him, until he threatens to hit Jerry and all of the
staff stick up for him. Elsewhere,
Ray Von hosts a Robot Wars
tournament, which is won by Max and Paddy, who are using a robot built
by Ray, who has a penchant for electronics. At the end of the episode,
a man called Dougie Hayes offers Jerry a job on a cruise ship. The
auditioning act at the end of the episode are a pair of raging Spanish
Jerry gets an all-clear. However, Brian tells him to keep pretending
to be ill because the club got the rights to host Talent Trek because
he told the organizers that Jerry is dying. Tensions boil when Brian
has to hire a
Right Said Fred
Right Said Fred tribute band called 'Right Said Frank'
for the grand finale due to Les Alanos performing a Karate Kid musical
with the local youth club on the same night. Right Said Frank end up
stealing stereos from all the cars parked outside.
Ray Von tries to
stop them but he is overpowered. Luckily, they slam into Max's car,
setting off his personal alarm.
Max and Paddy rush outside and tackle
the two men to the ground. Brian then 'reveals' to the audience that
Jerry has got an all-clear for his illness. Despite everything, Jerry
can't bring himself to leave the club and turns down the cruise ship
job offer. The series concludes with Den Perry, outraged at the
success of the Phoenix Club, setting it on fire.
Brian and the staff watch the club burn to the ground, with Jerry
managing to rescue Brian's little disabled boy-shaped charity box.
After the flames are put out, a fireman reveals the fire was caused by
a discarded cigarette or cigar, leading Brian to believe
Den Perry was
responsible. Brian then has to appear in court due to his breach of
fire and safety regulations and as a result his alcohol licence is
revoked and he is blacklisted by the breweries. A broken man, Brian
dreams of rebuilding the Phoenix Club. On his trip to
Asda he finds
Jerry and Alan singing to promote products. Brian begs Jerry to help
him to rebuild the Phoenix but Jerry rebuffs him and tells him to
forget about the Phoenix. Still undeterred, Brian travels to Blackpool
to visit an old friend, Frank Cartwright (played by Jim Bowen), owner
of the Hotel "Le Ponderosa", who tells him to sell bottles and cans to
get around the ban, get a licensee whom he can manipulate and have
lots of facilities under one roof. Brian then goes around to find all
of the staff. He finds Les working as a butcher,
Kenny Senior as a
lollipop man (where he constantly lies to the kids crossing the road),
Ray Von at a fairground, and Holy Mary in church. In what was to
become an iconic moment for the series he calls
Max and Paddy as they
are driving elderly Asian gentlemen to a mosque and singing at the
tops of their voices to "Is This the Way to Amarillo?" by Tony
Christie, which is playing on Chorley FM. Brian succeeds in bringing
all of them together to discuss his plans, and convinces Jerry to
become the new licensee.
Reconstruction is going quite well, and a fun day is organised to
raise awareness of the rebuilding. However, an inflatable that
resembles an erect penis is all but rejected by Brian so it is
fastened to the ground and covered up. Unfortunately, the penis
escapes from its cover and explodes, shocking everyone who is spending
their money. Furthermore, a botched face-painting job leaves Young
Kenny with a permanent tiger face. Elsewhere,
Max and Paddy go to
France to stock up on booze while unwittingly picking up two Chinese
immigrants in the process.
Brian decides to get the club on Crimetime for publicity and a chance
to accuse Den Perry. Changes are made throughout the club to make it
look good for the TV crew, but the TV appearance is a disaster when
Brian loses it after he believes that he is being accused of burning
the club down himself. Elsewhere, Spencer is hired for the vacant bar
Brian comes across two
Japanese people promoting their new lager, and
offers them a chance to promote it in the club, an offer they accept.
A pub quiz is arranged, with the winner taking home a year's supply of
the lager. Both Brian and
Den Perry enter teams to try and win it.
Brian's team wins, but his victory is short-lived when it turns out
the lager is non-alcoholic. In the other suite, Jerry's medication
binge gets the better of him and he loses it on stage, which causes
him to go into the next suite and urinate everywhere, shocking the
A power cut in Brian's home sees him stuck on his stair lift all night
until Jerry breaks his door down the next morning. At the club, Jerry
has turned part of the club into a Chinese restaurant called "The
Golden Phoenix", and a ladies night has been arranged, which causes
Paddy to go onto the stage dressed in nothing but a fake moustache and
leather thong, and carrying a trident. Outside, Max is accosted by a
woman who wants her husband killed. Max tells her that he will kill
her husband for £8,000. Lying to Paddy that she will pay them both
£1,000, Max gets Paddy to agree to do the job with him. Max, Paddy
and Max's brother Terry go to practise shooting using a Broomhandled
Mauser which Max's grandad lent to him. When Paddy starts to fire, he
accidentally shoots Terry. Eventually,
Max and Paddy can't kill the
man and give him £3,000 to leave the country, Max gives Paddy
£1,000, and spends £4,000 on a motor home.
Max and Paddy spot the man they were meant to kill in town, and are
later confronted by his angry wife, who hints that she has put a hit
out on them. She also reveals to Paddy that she paid Max £8,000, of
which Paddy only received £1,000. In the club, Brian has arranged a
Stars in Your Eyes night to impress a brewery representative who is
coming over. However,
Den Perry has other ideas and cancels the acts
by impersonating Jerry. However, in a memorable series of scenes, all
of the staff from the club dress up to become acts, including Holy
Mary as Lulu,
Ray Von and Les Alanos as Adam and the Ants, Kenny
Senior as Britney Spears, Young Kenny as Meat Loaf, Jerry as Eminem
and George Michael, Brian as
Elton John and Spencer as Gary Glitter.
At the end of the episode,
Den Perry threatens Brian and talks to him
about burning the club down before and makes threats to do it again,
unaware that Brian has switched on a radio microphone on his desk,
meaning that the entire club has heard the conversation.
Den Perry is
arrested and the staff celebrate.
Ray Von then reminds Brian now the
truth has come out, he can get his licence back. However, Brian
decides to let Jerry remain as licensee and the staff hold a toast to
Jerry. At the end of the episode, Max, terrified that there is a hit
out on him, is about to flee all over the country in his motor home,
when Paddy decides to come with him, setting the scene for the
spin-off series Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere.
Series 1: six episodes, broadcast 14 January 2001 to 18 February 2001
Series 2: six episodes, broadcast 8 August 2002 to 12 September 2002
Phoenix Nights is rarely repeated on British television. During an
Danny Baker for
Peter Kay In Conversation, Kay stated
he resents allowing his shows, including Phoenix Nights, to be
repeated as it "dilutes the quality" of the programme, citing Only
Fools and Horses as an example of a highly regarded programme "ruined"
by excessive repeat showings.
Potential third series
In September 2006, Kay revealed on
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 that a third series of
Phoenix Nights has been written, but it is unknown when the series
will be filmed. On 8 May 2007, another announcement by Kay was made
promising another series will be made. However Dave Spikey, in
interviews with The Sentinel and the
Croydon Guardian in late 2009,
claimed that neither he nor fellow co-writer
Neil Fitzmaurice were
aware of any plans to bring back the series. In a recent
Peter Kay he stated that he had written a third series
Phoenix Nights and had even written a screenplay for it. However,
when asked if he would be going back there he said that he would
prefer to do something new next. Kay also claims he's been approached
to make a
Phoenix Nights movie following the success of The
Inbetweeners Movie. In August 2014, it was reported that Kay was in
talks to revive
Phoenix Nights in the form of a series of live shows
Comic Relief in 2015. In November 2014, Kay announced during a
charity fundraising event at the Opera House Theatre,
an official announcement would be made regarding the revival of the
show. Kay confirmed again in April 2017 that a third series had
been written but that "things kept getting in the way" of filming
Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New
Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice
^ "Spikey's back but wait for Phoenix is still ongoing". The Sentinel.
23 October 2009.
^ Moody, Graham (25 October 2009). "Comedy:
Dave Spikey at Fairfield
Halls, Croydon". Croydon Guardian.
^ Jefferies, Mark (29 August 2014). "Peter Kay:
Phoenix Nights returns
with a new live stage show and a TV series in 2015".
Phoenix Nights return expected". 19 November 2014.
Peter Kay Reveals That A Third Series Of
Phoenix Nights Has Been
Written". 5 May 2017.
Phoenix Nights on IMDb
Phoenix Nights at Br