Northern exposure

Comic lands £6,000 BBC bursary

Stand-up Tony Burgess has won a £6,000 BBC bursary to help develop comedy ideas in Manchester.

He will become the corporation's first comedy writer in residence in the city, after being chosen from more than 100 applicants.

The Oldham-based comic has previously won the City Life North West comedian of the year competition and has worked on TV shows including Paul and Pauline Calf's Cheese and Ham Sandwich.

He said: "I'm very proud to receive this award, and the money - mainly the money. And if the BBC could pay me in scratch cards, that'll save me a bit of time queuing in the post office.

"It's also great that BBC Comedy is becoming more active in the north.

"There's clearly loads of talent here. I suppose I've just got to prove that now. No pressure then!"

Kenton Allen, the BBC's editor of comedy, said: "Tony has a unique comic voice and I hope that this bursary will really help him establish that voice on BBC television and radio.

"His passion for writing is totally infectious and we're all tremendously excited at the prospect of working with him."

The BBC also expanded the scope of the scheme after seeing the strength of the applicants, giving development money to six shortlisted writers.

All stand-ups, they are: Steve Edge best-known for playing Alan in Phoenix Nights; previous City Life winners Jason Manford and Seymour Mace; plus Greg Cook, Mick Ferry and Susan Vale.

Published: 9 Apr 2004

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