Sunderland is 'the UK's laughter capital' according to The Beano

Mirthful Mackems are Britain’s champion chortlers, says comic bible The Beano.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 4:55 am

The family favourite reckons Sunderland people enjoy a chuckle more than anywhere else in the country – and that’s more than just a laughing matter.

The comic joined forces with neuroscientist and laughter expert Professor Sophie Scott to conduct a wide-ranging study to mark its national schools’ competition to find Britain’s Funniest Class, polling 2.000 people nationwide on how often they’re having a laugh.

According to the findings, the average Brit laughs 23 times a day and spends 25 minutes chuckling.

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People in Sunderland laugh more than anyone else in the country, says The Beano
People in Sunderland laugh more than anyone else in the country, says The Beano

But in Sunderland, we crack up an average of 33 times a day, ahead of Wrexham and Sheffield in second and third place respectively.

By comparison, that sour-faced lot up the road in Newcastle clock in at just 21 laughs a day, down in 35th place. Derry is the UK’s laughter blackspot, with a chuckles per day rate of just 13.

When it comes to the four nations of the UK, the research shows those in Wales like to laugh the most, clocking in with an average 24 guffaws a day – over 700 times more a year than the English.

Professor Scott said laughter was important for bonding with our nearest and dearest: “When we think about laughter and humour, we often think about jokes and comedy, but most of the time we laugh, we are laughing because of social reasons – who we are with or where we are,” she said.

Where the nation's laughter is officially concentrated

"Although laughter is innate, it is also a behaviour we learn to use to communicate, to aid our work, to show who our friends are and to help make new friends, to deal with stress, to put people at their ease and to defuse difficult situations.”

Beano’s nationwide search to find Britain’s Funniest Class is open to all schools across the UK. It offers free curriculum-linked lesson plans to help primary school children write their very best original jokes which teachers can then submit.

The joke competition has been launched in partnership with YoungMinds, the children and young people’s mental health charity, and is open for entries until Thursday, May 20 at

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23 per cent? *gets coat*
What's tickling the nation's funny bones