Peter Kay told fans he was doing “great” as he made a rare public appearance near Bolton in aid of a good cause.
The comedy legend was the guest of honor as he helped launch a new wheelchair-accessible ‘wheelyboat’ at the Anderton Centre, near Chorley, on Saturday (April 23). The 48-year-old cracked a few jokes with delighted fans as he officially launched the boat, which will offer disabled adults and children the opportunity to enjoy water-based sports and activities.
Peter has taken a step back from the spotlight over recent years, after “unforeseen family circumstances” forced him to cancel his nationwide tour in 2017. The Phoenix Nights co-creator, from Bolton, returned to the stage earlier this month to begin his first tour in 11 years, performing his Dance For Life show at Manchester Central Convention Complex on Good Friday.
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Speaking on Saturday, the stand-up comedian revealed how he and his three children had enjoyed outdoor activities at The Anderton Centre, where the boat was launched on the Lower Rivington Reservoir. After being introduced as a guest of honor at the launch, Peter was presented with a gift, much to the amusement of the crowd – a T-shirt emblazoned on the back with the words ‘Honorary Instructor’.
“It’s very lovely to be here today, I’m honored to be asked to launch this fantastic wheelyboat, which I hope gives a lot of people a lot of pleasure and happiness out on the water,” the dad-of-three said on Saturday, according to PA.
“The Anderton Center is a fantastic place and I love coming here, and the people are really nice and when it’s a nice day and there’s a heatwave you think you’re in the south of France.”
As he stepped down to cut the ribbon on the boat, he added: “I’m just going to get on with cutting it with the scissors… I did think, I might be smashing a bottle against it, but apparently in the modern world that is not allowed for re-cycling.
“I’ve never launched anything in my life, apart from one of my children – no, only kidding. So I declare, this fantastic wonderful wheelyboat officially – don’t all run and jump on – open.”
Throughout the launch, Peter shook hands and spoke with local Labor MP Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle and also gave fans an update when asked how he was doing, The Mirror reports.
“I’m great thank you very much, nice to be doing something, nice to be doing this,” the Car Share creator stated during the event on Saturday.
The Coulam Wheelyboat V17 – a purpose-built fully wheelchair-accessible powerboat is the first for public use in Lancashire. Lancashire Outdoor Activities Initiative (LOAI) and national charity The Wheelyboat Trust joined forces to fund, build and provide the new vessel.
Andy Beadsley, director of The Wheelyboat Trust said: “Wheelyboats are a lifeline for anyone with a disability, as each boat removes the barriers and enables disabled people to participate alongside and on equal terms with their able-bodied counterparts.
“All too often people with disabilities are restricted in the activities they can take part in due to lack of accessible facilities and equipment, which is something we are striving to change.”
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