Funny people twice as likely to hail from the North – Beano study

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The comic is on the hunt to find Britain’s funniest family.

Noel Fielding

Funny people are twice (2.25 times) as likely to hail from the North than elsewhere in the British Isles, a survey by the Beano comic suggests.

Analysis of 50 famous British comedians, carried out by statistician Dr Geoff Ellis, examined their shared characteristics and traits.

Its results suggest funny people are also likely to be the youngest out of their siblings, taller than average and born in a city.

The findings also suggest those with Gemini star signs, such as comedians Sarah Millican, Richard Ayoade and Noel Fielding, are most likely to be funny.

However, those born under so-called fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) are the least likely.

Dr Ellis’s list of comedians was based on various sources detailing the top 10, top 20, top 30 and top 100 comedians.

A second study of 2,000 British adults, conducted by 3Gem in May 2020, showed 71% believed Northerners were funnier than Southerners.


Nearly nine out of 10 (87%) believed people were naturally born with a “Funny Gene”.

Teenage Cancer Trust Concert 2019 – London
Romesh Ranganathan is the head judge (Matt Crossick/PA)

The study was commissioned by Beano, which is on the hunt to find Britain’s funniest family in partnership with mental health charity YoungMinds.

A team of Beano joke writers, led by head judge Romesh Ranganathan, will select a shortlist, before asking the public to vote online for the winner.


Mike Stirling, head of Beano Studios, said: “At Beano we’re always looking for ways to tickle funny bones and long suspected a ‘Funny Gene’ existed too.

“But we’re on a mission to help keep the nation smiling with our hunt for Britain’s Funniest Family and can’t wait to see the comedy gold that all families across the UK can create together at home.”

Families can submit their funny videos at Entries close on May 24.

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