BOLTON comedian Peter Kay has been back in the news recently with rumours that a Phoenix Nights film could be in the offing.

The comic has been noticeably missing from our TV screens ever since he announced he would be taking a break from work back in 2017.

But now 46-year-old Kay has revealed he could be making a comeback sooner than expected, after teasing that a Phoenix Nights movie is in the works.

According to The Sun, he appeared at a recent pop-up at a charity screening of the Channel 4 show and told fans: “People always ask, ‘Will there be more Phoenix Nights?’ and I can now confirm there won’t — but I am thinking of a film.”

Phoenix Nights ran on Channel 4 between 2001 and 2002, with writers Peter Kay, Dave Spikey and Neil Fitzmaurice penning 12 episodes of the show over two seasons.

Kay starred in the show, playing unfortunate club-owner Brian Potter, fire marshal Keith Lard and doorman Max, alongside fellow Boltonian Paddy McGuinness.

Spikey also appeared as compere Jerry St. Clair and Fitzmaurice as hapless entertainer and DJ Ray Von.

Other stars include comedian Justin Moorhouse, who played Young Kenny and Archie Kelly who played Kenny Senior.

It was St Gregory’s Social Club, in Farnworth, which originally served as the location for the calamitous Phoenix Club.

Lovingly recreated by Kay and inspired by the Working Men’s Clubs he performed in early in his career, The Phoenix Club was home to a classic roster of entertainment including bingo, singing, cabaret and a wide range of themed nights, typical of the sort of bills you would have found in similar real-life clubs across Bolton.

Although now viewed as being in decline with an uncertain future, these kind of clubs used to play a central role in working-class leisure.

During their heyday in the early 1970s, there were just over 4,000 clubs across the country affiliated to the Working Men’s Club and Institute Union (WMCIU, referred to as the CIU or ‘the Union’) .

They made up a thriving national network, overseen from the CIU’s head office in London and through its 28 regional branch offices.

There were as many as four million club members in the boom years, with many thousands more on waiting lists to join.

Games like billiards, cribbage, dominoes and skittles were hugely popular with live entertainment also becoming a ‘boom’ area, with professional acts working the club circuit.

Names like Les Dawson, Roy Chubby Brown, Frank Carson and Kay himself all came up through the circuit.

Today sadly it seems like the traditional Working Mens Clubs are in decline with the number of clubs tumbling to around 1,500.

All manner of factors, including the smoking ban, cheap super market booze and changing attitudes towards drinking, have all contributed.

Clubs are having to change and develop and a good example of how they can survive is St Gregory’s Social Club itself where current owner Paul Riley has spent the last seven years renovating the three-room venue, which is commonly used for birthdays, weddings, christenings and other parties.

Mr Riley has also recently installed a new children’s play area at the side of the Church Street venue, with several slides fronting on to an outdoor seated area.

“It’s been a success without a doubt,” he said. “It’s providing a different facility now too with the children’s play area which we’ve just opened.

“The club is now a community hub. We’ve got sports teams, both darts teams and snooker teams.

“It also gets used by the council sometimes for meetings and we have regular groups that meet here.”

“We’re pretty well booked up in advance for a lot of events and we’ve got a great team here working in the club and behind the bar.”