Longstanding Canadian comedy festival Just For Laughs is to stage an inaugural London event at The O2 arena (cap. 20,000) next year, in partnership with AEG Presents.

The annual comedy festival, Just For Laughs London, will debut on 2-5 March 2023 and will include solo performances, live podcast recordings and in-conversation events involving UK-based comedians and international stars.

Founded in 1983, Just for Laughs is held each July in Montreal, Canada, and has a dedicated broadcast division. Among the many British acts to play the festival have been John Oliver, Jimmy Carr, Stephen Fry, Jack Whitehall, Eddie Izzard, Gina Yashere and Sarah Millican. Rowan Atkinson launched “Mr. Bean” to an international audience at the Montreal event in 1987.

Just For Laughs Group president and CEO Charles Décarie said, “Just For Laughs has produced many successful superior comedy festivals and tours in cities across the globe, and we are now beyond excited to plant some roots by adding a new comedy festival in one of the world’s most notorious comedy cities. We believe that expanding our festival’s international reach is part of the organisation’s natural evolution, and we are looking forward to being in the UK next year at London’s The O2.”