Comedy hero Peter Kay received a standing ovation from adoring fans at Blackpool Opera House tonight.
The Bolton funnyman came on stage at the start of the second act during a special charity screening of the final two episodes of his much-lauded sitcom Car Share.
The appearance came during the Saturday night showing, following previous events last night and this afternoon.
He thanked fans for their support, leaving the audience 'gobsmacked' as one onlooker described it.
"No one was expecting it, but he got a massive standing ovation from everyone there," they said.
The special premiere screenings featured four episodes, including two never-seen-before episodes of the hit BBC sitcom which Kay co-stars in with Sian Gibson, as well as writing it.
Fans tweeted their response to the special showcase, hailing him a comedy genius, and those attending this afternoon said it was a 'fantastic and brilliant' end to the series.
Stuart @s_t_u_e_y 6 wrote on the microblogging site: "Aww... for anyone who likes #CarShare, the final episode is lovely and a perfect ending Thank you @peterkay_co_uk @Sianygibby and @PColemanchester."
Vikki Pestridge @vikkipest wrote: "#PeterKaysCarShare fantastic last episode and Peter Kay arrived on stage, what a brilliant night #hedgehog a great duo @Sianygibby @peterkay_co_uk."
IanDTT @forest7593 added: "@peterkay_co_uk @Sianygibby @PColemanchester @gillisles Thank you for two brilliant episodes & giving three opportunity’s to view these & what a great atmosphere Really want those unable to attend to enjoy these episodes like we have ....NO SPOILERS."
And Scott Murray @scottmurray43 wrote: "@Sianygibby Brilliant night @WGOperaHouse last night Sian, really glad we got tickets,loved it. So sad it’s over but a nice way to finish and no one could have played those parts better than you and Peter,amazing chemistry. Also a few thousand pounds to a worthy charity thankyou."
Tonight's show was initially the only one planned, with the promise of a premiere of Car Share: Unscripted and the highly anticipated series finale, with tickets selling out in minutes.
A second date, on yesterday evening, was announced and again sold out prompting today's matinee to be added due to the 'phenomenal demand'.
The screenings have been held in aid of The Lily Foundation, a charity supporting children with mitochondrial disease.
The comic, who has held previous Car Share screening premieres and question and answer events for charities at the Winter Gardens' theatre, has made no public appearances since announcing suddenly last year that he was cancelling all live commitments owing to family reasons.
Announcing the initial screening event, Peter Kay said last month: "The Lily Foundation is an inspiring charity that helps to improve the lives of children with Mitochondrial Disease.
"I’ve had first-hand experience of the foundation’s work and I’m proud to raise both awareness and much needed funds to help with the inspiring work they provide to children and their families."
The second series of the BBC show ended on an emotional cliffhanger last year as John (Kay) failed to reciprocate the advances of his car share colleague Kayleigh (Sian Gibson).
And fans of the programme were dismayed when Kay announced that he had no plans to pen a further series.
But the comic later announced special episodes - a special finale to reveal what happens next for the pair and an entirely improvised episode, Car Share: Unscripted.
Both shows, Unscripted and the finale, were filmed last year.
For more information visit www.thelilyfoundation.org.uk