In with the new

BBC replaces its stand-up contest

The BBC will today launch a new talent hunt to replace its New Comedy Awards.

For the past ten years, emerging stand-ups have been recognised under the scheme, with previous winners including Julian Barratt, Alan Carr and Marcus Brigstocke. (Click here for previous winners and finalists)

However, that has now been axed, and the focus of the new scheme, called Show Me The Funny, shifted away from live work.

The initiative has two categories: Sketch Factory, for writers of short skits, and Witty And Twisted which is open to performers either on stage, on the web or on student radio.

Rather than heats held around the country, Show Me The Funny requires entries to be submitted to a panel of judges.

The best sketch writers will attend a workshop with established names, while th etop ten will eventually work on an eight part Radio 4 comedy series, to be performed by top names The ten funniest Witty And Twisted  performers will make a pilot for digital channel BBC 7, with the overall winner being commissioned for their own series.

For the sketches, two must be submitted to fit the brief of the new series, titled Recorded For Training Purposes, whereas the criteria for the performance category is more lax: ‘Three minutes of you being funny - it can be a sketch, some stand-up or whatever you like’.

Paul Schlesinger, the BBC’s head of radio light entertainment said: ’Reinvigorating the flow of new writers and performers into radio comedy is absolutely crucial. So many star writers and writer/performers have come through the ranks of radio - this will be the start of finding the next generation.”

And Angela Wallis, executive producer of BBC New Talent added: ‘This is a brilliant opportunity for writers and performers to work with the most experienced comedy team in radio. They will get guidance on how to make comedy work on radio and promising performers will get the chance to make their own showcase for BBC 7 with talented writers working on a top BBC Radio 4 sketch show’

Deadline for all entrants will be October 11, and more information will appear on the official website later.



Published: 17 Aug 2006

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