Steve Martin has announced that he and fellow comedian Martin Short have canceled their Thursday night performance at the SSE Arena in Belfast "until happier times".

The Hollywood duo brought their critically acclaimed comedy tour The Funniest Show in Town at the Moment for the first time ever to Dublin on Wednesday, but plans to play a second gig in Ireland on March 12 have been axed due to coronavirus. 

In a statement posted on Twitter, 74-year-old Steve Martin said: "In light of the ever-evolving situation, Marty and I have decided to postpone our Belfast show until happier times.

"Last night's thrilling Dublin show turns out to be our sad farewell - for a while - to our beautiful Ireland and Scotland experience."

Martin added that "refunds will be addressed at point of sale".

Following on from Thursday's announced from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about the country's schools, colleges and childcare facilities closing in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Concert Hall also announced its plans to close from 6.00pm on March 12 through to midnight on March 29.

All events scheduled to take place during this time are now cancelled. Customers will be refunded in due course.