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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 06:33 GMT
North West 'is comedy capital'
Ricky Tomlinson, who is from Liverpool
Liverpool produces the most comics, the research reveals
The North West produces more comedians than anywhere else in the UK, according to a survey.

One in 170,000 people in the region becomes a famous comic, according to the research done as part of this year's Red Nose Day.

The overall average for the region is almost a third above the national figure, the Mr Kipling Comedy Conurbation study found.

Liverpool, which has produced the likes of Ricky Tomlinson, comes out as the top city, with one in 55,000 people becoming famous for their comic charms.

According to Les Dennis, another famous comedy son of Liverpool, being a scouser "definitely affects" your sense of humour.

Scousers are born with a dead-pan sense of humour
Ricky Tomlinson
He said: "People in Liverpool are naturally funny. It's a good comedy accent - just look at Ricky Tomlinson."

"Scousers are born with a dead-pan sense of humour and aren't afraid to have a laugh at themselves," said Tomlinson.

"I developed a sense of humour from an early age. It was my way of getting through life and with six of us living in a two bedroom house it helped."

Manchester, which boasts the likes of Caroline Aherne and Steve Coogan, was narrowly beaten to the top spot, with is figure of one comedian per 72,000 residents.

Birmingham comics

Psychologist Dr Pat Spungin said it is the Irish roots in the North West that helped it reach the top.

"Ireland has a very strong oral and literary tradition and makes people appreciative of word play, puns and jokes," said Dr Spungin.

However, Birmingham also emerges as a pocket of mirth, having produced the likes of Jasper Carrott, Julie Walters and Frank Skinner.

The research found one comic in 79,000 people in the West Midlands city.

Glasgow is fairly close behind, with one comedian for every 87,000 people.

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