Fans everywhere are left heartbroken as Peter Key reveals that he has been forced to cancel the entirety of his live UK tour due to undisclosed family matters. It comes as a real disappointment, given that the dates are his first live shows in eight years.

Peter Kay at the BAFTAsPeter Kay at the BAFTAs

The 44-year-old Bolton star extends his 'sincerest apologies' to the million fans that had bought tickets to his 100-date arena tour, revealing that he has had to axe the stand-up series as well as his Dance for Life shows and other 'outstanding live work commitments'.

'Due to unforeseen family circumstances, I deeply regret that I am having to cancel all of my upcoming work projects', he said in a statement released on Twitter. 'This decision has not been taken lightly and I'm sure you'll understand my family must always come first.'

The comedian did not reveal the nature of his family issues, out of respect for their privacy. 'I've always endeavoured to protect my family's privacy from the media', he says. 'I hope that the media and the public will continue to respect our privacy at this time. Once again, I'm very sorry.'

Ticket holders will be refunded, while those who have bought tickets for 'Dance for Life' may donate their refund to Cancer Research UK given that the event was being held in aid of the charity. 

The tour was due to extend will into 2019, with 22 dates scheduled for the Manchester Arena. It was set to kick off at Birmingham's Genting Arena on April 21st 2018.

More: Peter Kay announces his stand-up tour

'I miss doing standup', he told the Guardian earlier this year when he announced the dates. 'As terrifying as it is, when it works there's nothing more fun and exciting. Plus, a lot has happened in the last eight years, with Trump, Twitter and my Nan getting her front bush trimmed at the age of 96.'