Peter Kay said the reaction to his first live tour in 12 years has been “unbelievable” as he confirms his monthly residency at The O2, London.

The 49-year-old comedian joined The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on Wednesday to co-host after also announcing he will embark on an arena tour spanning from this December to August 2023.

He told Ball on BBC Radio 2 he could not believe he was the “main news on telly” following his comeback being announced on Sunday during an advertisement break of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’s new series launch on ITV.

Kay said: “(BBC News presenter) Huw Edwards said he had to get some tickets at the end.

“Huw Edwards is going to queue up for tickets … Him? I cannot get my head (around) it.

“I thought we should call this tour Peter Who? because I haven’t been (around) for five years.

“Being on the news … can you get your head around that?”

Kay also told Ball he has done practice shows with three more coming up before the tour.

“They are going well, I’ve done a few now,” he said. “People keep calling them secret gigs, but they’re not secret at all.

“They’re just online (to book) and they’re just first come first served and they come and that’s it.”

It will be Kay’s first live tour since 2010, when he scored the Guinness World Record for the biggest-selling run of all time, playing to more than 1.2 million people.

Kay’s residency is at The O2 in London from December 16 and runs until November 18 2023.

He is the first artist in the world to perform a monthly residency at the venue, the announcement said.

Speaking about keeping his prices down during the cost-of-living crisis, Kay said: “The gas prices are going up, and everything else and petrol.

“I thought, God you’ve got to do something. So I (said) why don’t we do them at the same price as my 2010 tour, starting from £35?

“Bad times, that’s why people need a laugh. I think that’s why (it was on) the news.

“It was something happy for once, instead of doom and gloom.”

Kay also said he gave his bouncy castle from his show Phoenix Nights to a Pride event in Manchester and hinted that his character Brian’s wheelchair will show up next week.

“I can’t say why, it’s top secret, someone’s going to borrow it next week,” he said.

Kay, from Bolton, has been largely out of the spotlight in recent years.

He returned to the stage in August 2021 for two special charity events to raise money for Laura Nuttall, a then 20-year-old with an aggressive type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme.

There was also a brief return in January 2021 when he appeared on BBC Radio 2 to chat to Cat Deeley – who was filling in after Graham Norton left the station – about his love of music, mixtapes and the musical Mamma Mia.

He also made a surprise appearance at a charity screening of his series Car Share in 2018.

Kay begins his comedy shows on December 2 at the Manchester AO Arena before ending at the Sheffield Utilita Arena on August 11 next year.

Tickets go on sale on November 12 at 10am.