The live comedy industry in the West Country is on the brink of collapse because of the coronavirus lockdown and limited government support, according to those who work in the sector.
Comedy clubs and venues that depend on gigging comedians and their audiences were forced to close their doors in March during the peak of the pandemic, and almost four months later have still not been given a date to reopen.
Well-known comedians have weighed in on the issue, pointing out the fact that stand-up comedy is not considered an 'art', and so businesses were not eligible for any of the £1.57 billion of government funding announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak to save venues like theatres and concert halls.
As a result, a study carried out by The Live Comedy Association came back with staggering results.
Across the UK a third of comedy venues expect to close their doors for good in the next six months, with almost 80% anticipating doing the same within a year.
As well as businesses like venues and clubs, self-employed performers are also struggling through the slow ascent back to normality.
More than three quarters of comedians have said they have made less than 5% of their pre-pandemic income during lockdown, relying on online shows.
Plymouth comedian, Suzy Bennett, has highlighted the importance of comedy being recognised as one of the industries that is integral to UK life.
Chris Brooker, from Comedy Booker & Resident MC, Plymouth Comedy Club said, "We're certainly seen as being a little too mainstream for this support but like most of the arts you don't really appreciate the value of something until it is gone.
"If the live UK comedy circuit, which is the envy of the world, we get people of travelling to the UK from all over the world to be part of the UK comedy circuit, if it goes away it's going to be a huge loss to us."