COMEDY hero Lee Evans has been pictured for the first time in nearly a year riding his electric bike in Essex.
The 57-year-old has largely shunned the spotlight for the past eight years in favour of a quiet life with his family.
He was snapped wearing a New York Yankees cap, shades, a cycling top and workman’s trousers for his journey on a pricey £1,599 Volt bike.
It’s the first time Lee’s been pictured since September when he was pictured jogging in an orange Under Armour top and Adidas bottoms.
In 2014, Lee confirmed his retirement from stand-up comedy during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show.
He said at the time: “I am knackered. This is it. Finished. Not doing anything.”
He cited the passing of his manager Addison Cresswell aged 53 from a heart attack in 2013 as one of the reasons he was quitting.
“Well my manager died last year,” Lee added. “Yeah, sorry to get serious. I’m not an ambitious person.
“People asked me to do a film, so I did a film. You asked me to come on here, I came on here. I didn’t ask.
“Addison used to put his arm around me and said, ‘It’ll all be alright,
I’ll look after you.’ It happens in life. People pass away.
“Doing these arenas, it’s been humbling. We have a great laugh (together,
with the audience). It’s really important, because it doesn’t last long.”
The acclaimed comedian then added that he was going to use his time to focus on his family.
He shared: “I wanna be there. I’ve always said to Little Mo, ‘I’m sorry I can’t go to the school play cos’ I’ve got to do this work.’
“Now I can go: ‘Yeah let’s go and do the stuff we never did.'”
Lee added: “So this is it. I’m going to go see my wife, give her a big hug, and tell her ‘I’m yours.’ And in a week she’ll say: ‘Get out! You’re getting on my nerves!’
“(Addressing his wife) I’m really sorry. I’m always away. I’m a nightmare to
live with because I’m always working.
“I’ve come to a junction in my life — please forgive me, it sounds very
narcissistic — but plays, musicals, films and stand-up. You get to a point
when you go ‘I don’t know what else to do.'”
Lee is one of the UK’s most successful comedians with his tours regularly breaking records.
His 2008 tour saw him perform to over 500,000 fans across 59 dates while the DVD of the Big tour sold a whopping 1million copies at the time.
He then went one better during his 67-date UK Roadrunner tour, which sold 733,000 tickets and 911,000 DVDs netting his a reported £12.9million.
He also starred in a host of movies, including mega hit The Fifth Element and There’s Something About Mary.