The BBC New Comedy Award is back to search for the most exciting new comedy acts the UK has to offer. The competition launches today and provides an opportunity for the best new comedy talent to kick-start their careers. The award will once again be hosted by the home of radio comedy, BBC Radio 4.
Sioned Wiliam, Commissioning Editor for Comedy on BBC Radio 4 says: “It is wonderful to welcome the New Comedy Award back to Radio 4 for the third year running. The competition has provided a springboard into the world of comedy for some fantastic new comic voices over the years, and I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.”
Heidi Regan, who won the BBC New Comedy Award 2017, says: “I’m still coming to terms with how helpful winning the award has been for me. It opened up doors in so many areas and gave me more confidence in my comedy. It was a really fun competition and a wonderful experience all round.”
The winner of this year’s BBC New Comedy Award will take home £1000 and a 15-minute script commission from BBC Studios. All finalists will be mentored by the BBC Studios comedy team across the year and receive advice, guidance and the chance to write for and appear in slots across the BBC.
To enter, you must submit a five-minute comedy routine and complete the application form before the closing date of Thursday 3rd May 2018.
The best 50 entries will be selected for regional heats, taking place across June and July in locations in London, Manchester and Cardiff, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra.
The semi-finals will take place in August and will see ten comedians battle it out to secure a coveted place in the final. The final will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 12th August, where an expert panel of judges, comprised of stalwarts of the comedy world, will join forces to crown the next winner.
Past winners and finalists of the BBC New Comedy Award include Alan Carr, Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Sarah Millican, Russell Howard, Joe Lycett, Josie Long, and Nina Conti.
Other recent winners of the BBC New Comedy Award include 2012’s Lucy Beaumont, whose third series of To Hull and Back aired on BBC Radio 4 this year; 2013’s Steve Bugeja who has supported Russell Kane on his tour and contributed material to a number of BBC TV and radio comedy shows; 2014’s Lee Ridley, whose sitcom Ability begins on Radio 4 next month; and 2015’s Yuriko Kotani, who has supported Joe Lycett and Rob Delaney on tour, and made her TV acting debut in Pls Like on BBC Three in 2017.