Funny place, Liverpool

City named UK comedy capital

Liverpool has been named Britain's comedy capital.

The city will be named the funniest town in Britain at the Lafta comedy awards run by lads' mag Loaded tomorrow night.

Manchester's thriving comedy circuit earned it second place in the list, compiled from suggestions made to visitors to Chortle.

Leicester claimed third place, thanks mainly to its long-running comedy festival, while London was fourth

Steve Bennett, editor of, said: "Liverpudlians have a very distinctive sense of humour - and for a comparatively small city has produced a surprisingly large number of comedians."

"From Arthur Askey and Ken Dodd, who's still entertaining audiences with five-hour long shows even though he's celebrating his 75th birthday this week, to modern stars like Johnny Vegas, Merseyside can be proud of its comic heritage."

A previous study, for Comic Relief, revealed that the city produces one comic for every 55,000 people - more than anywhere else in the country.

Scouse comic Tom O'Connor said: "This city has the ability to laugh at itself through adversity. Plus we are a naturally funny place."

The city will be awarded a plaque at the Loaded Lafta awards, which takes place in central London tomorrow night. Other categories include funniest man and woman of the year, funniest TV moment and funniest comedy soap couple.

The top ten places is:

  1. Liverpool: Greatest number of comics per head of population. Hometown of Johnny Vegas, Bernie Clifton, Lily Savage creator Paul O'Grady, Craig Charles, Les Dennis, Ricky Tomlinson, Ken Dodd and Carla Lane.
  2. Greater Manchester: Birth place of many comedy greats including Caroline Aherne, Peter Kay, Steve Coogan, Dave Spikey, Bernard Manning, Les Dawson and Don Estelle, and the place where Victoria Wood met Julie Walters and Rik Mayall met Ade Edmondson
  3. Leicester: Home of Britain's oldest dedicated comedy festival.
  4. London: Some of the best comedies ever produced have been made in the city from the Goons to the Ealing comedies, and home to more comedy clubs than anywhere else in the world.
  5. Edinburgh: For the Fringe. And Ronnie Corbett
  6. Bristol: Caroline Quentin, Simon Pegg, Matt Lucas and Marcus Brigstocke all started their careers there, Lee Evans, Bill Bailey and Wallace and Gromit were all born in the area, and it claims to have more live comedy venues per capita than any other city in the UK
  7. Birmingham: Home town of Jasper Carrot, Ian Lavender (Dads Army) and Tony Hancock, Cult programme Spitting Image was made in Central TV studios there
  8. Woking: Home town of Harry Hill and Sean Lock
  9. Reading: Though famous for jailing Britain's most famous wit, Oscar Wilde, it is also the hometown of Ricky Gervais.
  10. Nottingham

Published: 7 Oct 2003

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