HAVE you heard the one about the comedian who went back to university?

Bolton funnyman Peter Kay returned to his roots to share his comic expertise with more than 50 performance students at the University of Salford.

The 39-year-old, who completed a media and performance course at the university in the late 1990s, gave a comedy masterclass to an audience of students and staff.

During the lively question and answer session, the former Mount St Joseph High School pupil talked about his experiences in the comedy business from his early days to becoming one of the UK’s most popular stand-up comedians.

Peter said he would love to be starting out at the university today with the huge benefits of the internet and technology which were not available to him 15 years ago and the opportunities available for students studying at the MediaCityUK campus.

He added: “Salford students are really sitting on a goldmine at MediaCityUK.

“It’s a massive gift for them — they just need to get in there and get on. I would really have enjoyed doing the new comedy practices course at Salford if it was around in my day.

“I always preferred the practical work to theory during my course and I understand there’s a lot of practical skills teaching in the degree, which is great.”

Performance students, including several from the new comedy practices BA degree, quizzed the multiaward winning funnyman for two hours at the university’s Adelphi Studio.

Peter talked about the experience of developing his career soon after leaving Salford, including the techniques he uses in a wide range of comedy disciplines such as creating a stand-up routine, TV scriptwriting and character development.

During his career he has created and starred in TV series including Phoenix Nights, Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere and That Peter Kay Thing.

Year two comedy writing and performance student Allyn Thomas, who attended the masterclass, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity and a privilege to have Peter Kay talk to us.

“He’s one of my comedy heroes.”

Lecturers are hoping the comedy masterclass will become a regular feature of performance courses at the university with plans to invite other famous local comedy performers and writers to give talks next year.