MENA general manager John Knight persuaded Kay, who once worked as a Showsec security guard at the venue, to do his first stand-up shows in seven years.
“I suggested to Peter that when he was ready to return to live performance, he should take over the arena for a run rather than trekking around the country,” Knight explained.
Having cut the deal for “The Tour that Doesn’t Tour – Tour,” which takes place next April and May, Knight and Kay saw four nights turn into a four-week residency as almost 200,000 tickets went within hours of the box office opening Nov. 21.
At one point there were 50,000 online in the Ticketmaster queue.
Knight says it’s a groundbreaking deal for SMG, which runs the Manchester venue, as his team has worked together on all aspects of the event including ticketing, hotel and hospitality packages and even “a bespoke range of merchandise.”
Since Kay worked at the venue in his Showsec days, he’s become something of a British institution, having had a No. 1 record, a hit TV comedy series and an Emmy-nominated TV special.