Bill Nighy thinks comedy is more ''difficult'' than dying.

The 'Emma' star believes comedy is an ''elusive thing'', and has explained how there are those moments in the script that are ''mysterious'' because they don't make you laugh when you read it through, but the audience or viewers find it hilarious.

He said: ''It's that thing that they say, 'dying is difficult but comedy is harder' - it's an elusive thing. Some things are funny when the audience laugh. If you're doing a play for instance, you've read the script, learnt the script and you know where the writer intends for the audience to laugh, and you try and arrange to facilitate that, but then there's all these other things which apparently are funny and they're mysterious because in the script they didn't look funny.''

And the 70-year-old star has explained his comments using an analogy from his friend Billy Connelly.

Speaking to Talk Radio, he added: ''It's like Billy Connelly said, I read once that he would read out an advert on stage about a big pair of slippers and it was just an advert in the Sunday paper, it wasn't funny when it was in the paper, it wasn't funny when he was thinking about it before he went on stage and it wasn't funny after he walked off stage. But when he was on stage he just said the words big slippers and the audience thought it was hilarious and people were howling with laughter that he had this whole thing about slippers. You know it's kind of mysterious.''