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Peter Kay makes first public appearance since cancelling live tour

The 44-year-old comedy star cancelled all future commitments in December due to "unforeseen family circumstances"

Hanna Fillingham

Peter Kay is back! The 44-year-old comedian delighted nearly 3,000 fans on Saturday night as he made a surprise appearance at Blackpool Opera House, during a charity screening of his comedy series Car Share. A photo taken by a fan has surfaced on Twitter showing the star standing on stage waving enthusiastically to the crowds, while footage of his brief appearance showed him thanking the audience for supporting children's charity – The Lily Foundation. He said: "Thank you very much for supporting the Lily Foundation raising money for mitochondrial disease. Very kind of you. I appreciate it. Enjoy the last ever episode of Car Share. Don't tell anyone the end. Or tell anyone about any hedgehogs."

Peter Kay delighted fans by making a surprise appearace on Saturday night in Blackpool

Fans took to Twitter following the screening, with one writing: "Absolutely loved it and the man himself stepping on stage abs blew us away," while another said: "Fantastic last episode, and Peter Kay arrived on stage, what a brilliant night hedgehog, a great duo." A third added: "It was fantastic to see @peterkay_co_uk last night at the finale screening of Peter Kay Car Share. @peterkay_co_uk & @Sianygibby you are comedy geniuses we laughed and cried as always, it certainly didn’t disappoint, can't wait to see it again on the BBC in May, take care."

RELATED: Peter Kay shocks fans by cancelling comeback tour

Peter announced three charity screenings of the BBC comedy show in March, taking to Twitter for the first time since cancelling his stand-up tour in December. He wrote: "Exciting news: A charity screening of new Peter Kay’s Car Share episodes will be held at Blackpool Opera House on Saturday 7th April. Tickets on sale Saturday at 9am."

The comedy star cancelled all live appearances in December

RELATED: Peter Kay returns to Twitter for first time since cancelling live tour

Saturday marked Peter's first appearance since cancelling his live tour. "Due to unforeseen family circumstances, I deeply regret that I am having to cancel all of my upcoming work projects," he said in December. "This includes my upcoming stand-up tour, Dance for Life shows and any outstanding live work commitments." He added: "I'm sure you'll understand that 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."