Russell Kane defends the success of UK's top comedians

Comedian Russell Kane has been defending the success of some of the UK's top comedians after worries fewer comics are entering the circuit.

It's after the closure of a number of small comedy clubs and complaints from new comedians starting their career that they are struggling to break into the circuit.

Russell Kane says blaming more successful comics is unfair.

He says comedy "is one of the few art forms where hard work does pay off."

Comedy promoter Simon Houlihan agrees with him.

He runs the Comedy Cellar in Berkshire and says he understands why new comics are struggling to break into the industry.

He said: "We often book new acts, but because of the way things are now, we can afford to book a more established act over an act that's just starting out.

"For us to take a punt on a newer act, you do have to have something to say as a comedian. Because of the way the circuit is you have to work a bit harder.

"With comedy, if a room filled with people are weeing themselves laughing and you do that seven nights a week, show me the person who's not progressing after that."

Simon Houlihan also said the state of the economy was a reason why smaller comedy clubs and comedians were struggling.

John Bishop said it was unfair to blame his success, and that of his peers, as he still does gigs in smaller venues.

"If you say something people laugh, you're funny, end of," he said. "If you say something they don't laugh, you're not going to get any more gigs.

"I think the explosion of comedy in arenas is different but the audience that comes to those are not the audiences that will go to the Frog and Bucket on a Monday night.

"They are different audiences."

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