Peter Kay: Cancer patient 'honoured' to inspire comic's comeback gig

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Laura Nuttall says she felt "honoured" that Peter Kay would help her fundraise

A cancer patient who inspired comedian Peter Kay's return to the stage has said she feels "really honoured" by the "amazing" comic.

The Bolton star played his first gigs in four years to raise money for Laura Nuttall's treatment for brain cancer.

Thousands of fans gave him a standing ovation at the two charity shows at the Manchester Apollo on Saturday.

"I've never in my life had a standing ovation when I came on," he joked. "I'm going to go away for four more years."

He was hosting two Q&A sessions, called Doing it for Laura, at the 3,500-capacity venue.

Image source, PA Media
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Laura Nuttall with her mother Nicola and father Mark before Saturday's shows

Ms Nuttall, 20, of Barrowford in Lancashire, said Kay used to work with her father at Granada Television and got in touch after seeing her story on BBC North West Tonight.

"He phoned up my dad and said what can I do to help. I think my dad was surprised," she said.

"I mean you don't expect that, do you? It happened so quick. He said he would ring the Apollo.

"I feel really honoured that he chose to dedicate his first comeback performance to me."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Peter Kay is one of the UK's most popular entertainers

The shows, which sold out within 30 minutes last week, marked a rare public appearance for one of the nation's best-loved comedians.

Kay described getting back on stage as like "getting in a hot bath".

In late 2017, the Phoenix Nights star cancelled a tour and all future work projects due to "unforeseen family circumstances".

Ms Nuttall said the show had been "hilarious and it was just amazing to see all these people turn out and have a laugh".

"He has such natural talent. It is just amazing to be around him," she added.

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Laura and her sister Gracie appeared on BBC Breakfast to talk about the Manchester gig

The University of Manchester student was diagnosed with having an aggressive form of brain cancer in October 2018, during her first term at King's College London.

Since then, Ms Nuttall, who was in the audience on Saturday, has been undergoing immunotherapy in Germany as one of the few avenues of treatment available, alongside a costly complex cell vaccination programme, with each jab costing £27,000.

She told BBC Breakfast she was 18 "when I was told I maybe had another 18 months to live".

"When you are that young and you are told that news, you have to resort to positivity and laughter because sometimes that is all you have."

Image source, PA Media
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Peter Kay pictured arriving at the Manchester Apollo on Saturday

At the Apollo, her sister Gracie introduced Kay and told the audience their family was "eternally grateful" to them for "potentially saving my sister's life".

"It has been really hard. It is a really bizarre concept to know that the person who you really love most in the world might not be there at some point," Gracie said.

"But, as we say, laughter is the best medicine and you have to keep going."

Nicola Nuttall said her daughter was "an exceptional person and she deserves to have a long life", adding: "She deserves just to get old."

Funds raised from the event will go mostly towards Ms Nuttall's treatment, with some cash going to the Brain Tumour Charity.

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