Peter Kay has recorded an audiobook for his bestselling autobiography The Sound Of Laughter 15 years after it was published and said it is “an effort to try and cheer people up a bit”.
The comedian recorded the book, in which he observes the absurdities and eccentricities of family life, from home during lockdown, and said: “Hopefully it’ll lift people’s spirits.”
He still holds the record for the biggest selling British hardback autobiography of all time, selling more than two million copies worldwide.
He recorded the first chapter of the book at the time it was published and released it for charity but never got round to recording the rest.
Discussing recording it at home, Kay said: “Audible said it was fine, so that made everything much more relaxed.
“I could record at my own pace and that made the whole experience much more fun as I was able to drift off the subject matter and have a different view about it all these years later.
“I’d never read the book since I wrote it in 2006. It was fascinating, like reading something that somebody else had written.
“Although weirdly, even though I knew what was coming next, I’d forgotten so much of what I’d written.”
Kay said he never planned to write an autobiography but decided to when he learned a book was being written about him.
He said: “I wasn’t happy so decided to write my own. If anybody was going to write about me, I thought I’d probably be the best person to do it.”
Kay said it is “overwhelming” that the book was such a hit, and added: “As I felt completely out of my depth when I wrote it.
“I didn’t start writing until March 2006 and it had to be completed by the June. I remember sitting in my kitchen every day, blue skies outside and there I was typing away.
“I spent the first few weeks constantly clicking on the thesaurus, looking for better words.
“I was so self-conscious, I didn’t even have my English GCSE, but then slowly I began to find my own voice, and everything began falling into place. It turned out I really enjoyed writing the book.
“I just wanted to make it as funny as possible. Something that people could chuckle at on the beach or on their journey to work.”
Kay released his second book, Saturday Night Peter, in 2009, when it was also a bestseller.
Addressing why he had never written before, he said: “I suppose life gets in the way. Becoming a dad changed my priorities.
“The trick is getting the balance right in your life. I think a lot of people were forced to realise that during the pandemic.
“I think a lot of people’s priorities will have changed forever now. Hopefully for the better.”
However, he said recording the book made him miss writing and there is now a new book in the works.
He said: “Within the first few chapters of recording, I was inspired to start to write a third book.
“I had the idea about 10 years ago. All about working in TV. From when I started doing bit parts in Coronation Street right up to Car Share.
“It’s been a real joy recalling the memories. There’s over 20 years of stories about filming series like Phoenix Nights and Max & Paddy’s Road To Nowhere.
“Appearing on chat shows like Parkinson, at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and sharing letters from Ronnie Barker. We wrote to each other for years as pen pals until he passed away.”
He added: “I’m very proud of it. I’ll no doubt be recording that book too before you know it. I just hope people enjoy it as much as this first one.”
Kay has been largely out of the spotlight in recent years but returned to the stage in August for two special charity events to raise money for Laura Nuttall, 20, who has an aggressive type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme.
He cancelled his last tour in December 2017, citing “unforeseen family circumstances”.
The Sound Of Laughter will be available on Audible from September 16.