Funny bones tickled in tourism campaign


LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s comic side will play a central part of a new campaign aimed at luring tourists to the country’s funny spots.

The six-month campaign will enlist “local comedy heroes” such as John Cleese’s Basil Fawlty, Jennifer Saunders, Lenny Henry and Laurel and Hardy to boost visitor numbers, officials from the VisitBritain tourism body said.

It will also highlight 150 of the country’s “comedic locations” including the resort of Torquay, the location for Fawlty Towers and Turville, Buckinghamshire, where the Vicar of Dibley is set.

Live comedy venues also get a plug as well as historic buildings with a comedy connection such as the Laurel and Hardy Museum at Ulverston in Cumbria.

The Comedy England campaign will encourage tourists to “explore English destinations linked to our rich and diverse comedic history and heritage”.

Initially aimed at local audiences, officials from the tourism body said that if successful, the campaign, costing about 100,000 pounds, will be extended worldwide.

“England is renowned for producing some of the best comedy in the world and our sense of humour is a trait that the English are famous for,” said the campaign’s general manager of marketing, Laurence Bresh.

“Comedy is an integral part of our heritage and culture and the … campaign will encourage visitors to explore some of the regions, locations and attractions which have contributed to this.”