THOUSANDS of comedy fans have today been left disappointed and frustrated in trying to buy tickets for two Michael McIntyre gigs at Winchester Theatre Royal.

The box office phone lines opened at 10am but quickly jammed and the website crashed despite the creation of an ‘online waiting room.’ The comedy star, above, is trialling new material in Happy and Glorious at the venue on October 27 and 28.

The theatre tweeted that the show’s more than 800 tickets were sold out at 11.55am – only two hours after they went on sale.

Mark Courtice, theatre manager said: “It was sheer weight of numbers. He is a very popular artist and normally plays enormous venues. There is no system in the world that can deal with 45 hits a second. The big ticket agencies have the same problem.

“We constantly look at the ticketing system and ways of updating ours. But there is no system able to cope with that demand.”