Looking 4 laughs

New appeals for comic talent

Channel 4 has launched two appeals in the hunt for new comedy talent.

The broadcaster is asking for ideasfor its next series of Comedy Lab, which has proved a launchpad for such hits as Trigger Happy TV and Phoenix Nights.

And it is also launching a scheme for budding writers in the Glasgow area, called Ideas Factory.

Comedy Lab is looking for sitcoms, sketch shows or more imaginative formats for its return in the autumn.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: "The creative brief is necessarily broad. This is a genuine opportunity to be adventurous, challenging and different.

"We want to avoid duplicating formats which already exist; for example, stand-up comedy per se is not something we're actively looking for, whereas an innovative vehicle for a dynamic new comedian is."

The slots are 30 minutes long, but Channel 4 will also consider half-length ideas, and the budgets are limited.

Most ideas are submitted via a production companies, but ideas are still invited from writers and performers direct.

Send your applications to Comedy Lab, Entertainment Department, Channel Four, 124 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 2TX between April 1 and June 1.

Meanwhile, the Ideas Factory project will be running a number of hour-long workshops in Glasgow next month to try to encourage would-be writers, directors and performers.

Professional comics Raymond Mearns and Susan Morrison will be offeringtips for getting ideas commissioned, and encouraging participants to submit ideas for the first three minutes of a TV comedy.

Of these 20 will be developed in a series of masterclasses, with a final four winning ideas made into three-minute programmes

Channel 4's Stuart Cosgrove said: "Scotland has a great track record of producing innovative, ground-breaking comedy, and Glasgow has often been at the centre of that.

"The Book Group was the first Scottish production to appear in Channel 4's Friday night prime-time comedy schedule. We have also just commissioned Meet the Magoons - a comedy series based in a Punjabi curry house in Glasgow.

"These productions prove that Glasgow can produce high quality TV comedy that appeals to a nationwide audience.

For more information on Ideas Factory, call Kathy Hayes on 0141 568 7118 or email kathy.dogtoothmedia@researchcentre.co.uk

Published: 24 Mar 2004

Today's comedy-on demand picks

COMEDY STORE PLAYERS

The UK's longest-running improv team are putting a show online for the very first time since they started in 1985. They will be live-stream an hour of Sunday night footage from their archives from 7.30pm.

The line-up will feature Paul Merton, Richard Vranch, Neil Mullarkey Josie Lawrence, Lee Simpson and Andy Smart.

Click for more suggestions

... including Andrew Maxwell Breaks The Internet and a streamed version of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe curio Panopticon, from the Consignia sketch group.

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