Ticketmaster has promised to automatically refund customers within the next 10 days after Peter Kay cancelled the biggest comedy tour in UK history.

Just weeks after tickets were snapped up in quick time for 110 dates in 2018 and 2019, Kay announced today that he would not be performing “due to unforeseen family circumstances”.

The Live Arena Tour, Kay’s first in eight years, was due to begin at Birmingham’s Genting Arena in April and conclude at The O2 in London in June 2019. Major venues such as the Manchester Arena, Leeds’ First Direct Arena, Glasgow’s SSE Hydro and Dublin’s 3Arena were expected to be packed out.

In a statement, Peter Kay said: “Due to unforeseen family circumstances, I deeply regret I am having to cancel all of my upcoming work projects. This unfortunately includes my upcoming stand-up tour, Dance For Life shows and any outstanding live work commitments.

“My sincerest apologies. This decision has not been taken lightly and I’m sure you’ll understand my family must always come first.

“I’ve always endeavoured to protect my family’s privacy from the media. I hope that the media and the public will continue to respect our privacy at this time. Once again, I’m very sorry.”

Sold out instantly

Tickets for many of the shows sold out instantly after going on sale on November 19, with many being resold for huge prices on secondary platforms.

Fans took to social media to express their disappointment, with Ticketmaster directing them to a page explaining what happens now.

The company said: “Don’t worry, there is no action for you to take. We will automatically refund the ticket cost and all fees back onto the card you originally purchased with.

“Refunds will appear in your account within 10 working days, and you will also receive an email from our Customer Service team to confirm this.”

Eventim, which is also handling tickets, said: “We will endeavour to get refunds back to you as soon as possible. Please allow 7-10 working days for these to come through. Your refund will include the face value of the ticket, the booking fee and postage fee – even if your tickets have already been dispatched.”

The star’s last tour in 2010 features in the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest selling comedy tour of all time having played to more than 1.2 million people. The 110 shows scheduled for 2018-19 at venues with capacities of 13,000-21,000 would have broken the record.

Image: University of Salford