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Here’s what Peter Kay said to Jason Manford about the Manchester Co-Op gig delay fiasco

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Jason Manford has revealed what Peter Kay told him in response to the Manchester Co-Op’s continued delays which pushed the latter’s opening week gigs back twice.

The brand new 23,500-capacity venue – the largest in the UK once it officially opens – has infamously been plagued by teething problems that have caused multiple delays.

Comedian Kay was supposed to open the venue with gigs on April 23 and 24, but following a test event featuring Rick Astley on April 22, the gigs were “regretfully” pushed back to April 29 and 30 with the venue citing technical issues.

The shows were then postponed a second time, with Kay now scheduled to perform on May 23 and 24. The comedian reacted by telling fans of his disappointed, sharing: “I know I can’t believe it either.”

However, fellow comedian Manford has since revealed that Kay was somewhat able to see the funny side of the whole fiasco.

Appearing on Lorraine last Friday (May 10), the performer was speaking about his 2025 ‘A Manford All Seasons’ comedy tour, during he will perform at Manchester’s Co-Op Live next October.

Discussing the tour locations, guest host Christine Lampard said (via The Mirror): “Hopefully Manchester, if the Co-op Live venue is finally up and running!”

In response, Manford said: Yeah, it’s funny actually because obviously Peter Kay was supposed to be the first act to play it and we spoke the other day about it. I’m playing it October 2025 and he said: ‘It’ll be you, first comic on at this rate!’ Hopefully it will be done by then!”

Earlier this month the venue was also forced to cancel a performance by rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie last minute due to a “venue-related technical issue”, followed by the cancellation of Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Guts’ world tour gigs.

A spokesperson for the venue told Manchester Evening News that the technical issue was caused by part of an air conditioning unit falling from the gantry inside the venue during soundcheck. Nobody was injured.

Gary Roden, the boss of the new arena, resigned in April following the plethora of issues and controversy – including making the claim that grassroots music venues were “poorly run”.

As things currently stand, the Co-Op Live Arena has said that Elbow’s show on Tuesday (May 14) will now serve as the venue’s much-postponed opening night.

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