BBC pilots Funz & Gamez and Barbara Nice

Comedies to be unveiled at Salford showcase

Cult Edinburgh hit Funz And Gamez and a new comedy from circuit stalwart Mrs Barbara Nice are among the ideas to be trialled in this year's BBC Salford Sitcom Showcase.

The event, taking part on May 12 and 13, is a key part of the commissioning landscape for comedy in the north of England, and has previously spawned Citizen Khan and Hebburn.

A pilot of Funz and Game, starring Phil Ellis, Mick Ferry, James Meehan and Will Duggan, will be screened to audiences on the first day, followed by a live performance from Janice Connolly in character as her Stockport housewife superstar Barbara Nice.

The BBC's in-house comedy production department is working on a sitcom with the character, co-written by Connolly and Dave Spikey.

Wednesday will feature the first screening of Fishbowl written by Andrew Mettam, who previously wrote for Karen Dunbar. The show revolves around a university drop-out who returns home to Yorkshire to a suffocating home environment. The cast of the sitcom – being made by Inbetweeners producers Bwark – includes Mark Benton, Sally Lindsay, Katherine Rose Morley, Michael Smiley and Felicity Montagu.

The day will also feature live performances from Lucy Beaumont, Gemma Whelan as Chastity Butterworth, Daisy Cooper as Kerry, Elis James and Joseph Morpurgo.

Shane Allen, the BBC's controller of comedy commissioning, said: 'This is a crucial breeding ground for bringing through the very best in new writing and performing comedy talent. It's invaluable to have the live audience tell us what appeals and what they'd like to see more of. The northern comedy legacy remains vital to the BBC as evidenced by the forthcoming Peter Kay's Car Share.'

Last year's showcase featured Boy Meets Girl, the first sitcom to feature a transgender woman as the lead character, which will be made for BBC Two.

There will also be comedy workshops and masterclasses to be confirmed via the BBC Writers' Room website.

The ballot for audience tickets to the other events has opened – apply here.

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Published: 22 Apr 2015

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2004

Big Value Comedy Show Late


Edinburgh Fringe 2009

Mick Ferry: The Comedy Final


Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Mick Ferry: Sod It!


Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Mick Ferry: Has Been Found Wanting


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