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Sarah Millican and Miranda Hart success leads to boom in ticket sales for female comics

Sarah Millican (left) and Miranda Hart have driven a rise in ticket sales for female comics. Credit: PA

The rise of stars including Sarah Millican and Miranda Hart has lead to a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey.

Shows by female comedians account for 14% of all comedy tickets sold, up from 2% in 2009 according to a report by the Ticketmaster agency.

Comedian Shappi Khorsandi said:

It's great to see the surge in female comedians, stamping out the prejudice. We have still further to go though, I'd like to see more female comics enjoying the dominance that men do on the bigger stages.

Perhaps we are not capturing the public's imagination in the same way, but it is all changing for the better and we are well on the way to enjoying equal success with our comedy brothers.

– Shappi Khorsandi
Shappi Khorsandi pictured at an awards ceremony last year. Credit: Empics

Research published in The State of Play: Comedy report revealed the power of television in making or breaking careers, with more than half (51%) of people who regularly attended comedy gigs saying they would only pay to see someone they had already seen on TV.

The survey, which questioned more than 2,000 people, also found that going to comedy gigs was a social experience, with more than half saying they went in groups of three or more.

It also found the art of heckling is disappearing, with only one in five (20%) saying it was acceptable to heckle and 3% admitting to doing it regularly.