Britain's comedy habits revealed

40% go to live comedy shows

Almost 20 million people go to at least one live comedy show a year, according to a new survey.

A new poll conducted on behalf of Foster’s found that 40 per cent of the adult population, which translates to 19.85million people, see live stand-up at least once a year.

Even accounting for the 60 per cent who never go to a live show, Britons on average see 1.29 comedy shows a year.

Live comedy is most popular with the 25-34 age group (who see an average of 1.81 shows a year), followed by 16-24s and 35-44s. Of the over-55s more than 71 per cent never go to see live comedy.

The poll also found regional variations, with the North-East being the most frequent comedy-goers – good news for The Stand which has just opened a venue in Newcastle – with those in the South West, which is ill-served by comedy clubs, being the least frequent comedy punters.

Average number of live comedy gigs seen per year:

North-East: 1.63
South East: 1.52
London: 1.48
Northern Ireland 1.41
North West 1.40
Yorkshire 1.35
Wales 1.31
Midlands: 1.32
East: 1.05
Scotland 0.99
South West: 0.71

The survey of 1,004 adults also found that sitcom was the most popular type of TV programme after documentaries. ‘Factual documentary’ was named as the favourite type of programme by 14.9 per cent of the population, followed by sitcom on 14.3 per cent, then 13.1 per cent for wildlife shows, 11 per cent for panel shows, 7.7 per cent for reality TV and 6.6 per cent for sketch shows.

Respondents were also asked their favourite type of comedy, with observational coming top with 28 per cent, followed by witty sarcasm (17%), slapstick (10%), dark comedy (9%), toilet humour (8%)

Foster’s commissioned the survey to promote its sponsorship of the British Comedy Awards next Friday.

Published: 9 Dec 2011

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