BBC revives New Comedy Award

Radio 2 launch

The BBC has revived its new comedy award with the nationwide search for new stand-up talent launched by Steve Wright on Radio 2 today.

The competition initially ran from 1995 to 2005, and was won by the likes of Alan Carr, Rhod Gilbert and Marcus Brigstocke, while other finalists included Peter Kay, Lee Mack and Russell Howard.

Now it has been revived with a different format – including an audience vote – with a prize of a development deal with BBC radio comedy and appearances on air, rather than cash.

Steve Wright said: ‘Just taking a look at the roll call of previous BBC Radio 2 New Comedy Award winners and finalists should be all the encouragement anyone needs if they’re thinking about entering. So go on, give it a go and send us five minutes of your best material.’

Patrick Kielty will be hosting the semi-finals and the final, which will be broadcast on Radio 2.

He said: ‘Trying to make it as a stand up comic can be a scary ride, but it can also be brilliant fun. The BBC Radio 2 New Comedy Award is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who thinks this could be their true calling. And if you don’t take the plunge you’ll never know.

Submissions are open from now until March 27. To take part, entrants – who must have been performing for less than three years – must submit five minutes of audio material. More information and an application form is available at or by calling 03700 100 200.

The best will be selected for a series of regional heats across the UK, where they will face an expert judging panel including Chortle editor Steve Bennett. Highlights will be posted on the Radio 2 website.

One person from each of the ten heats will go through, then one runner-up from each heat will go through to an online audience vote which will open after the final heat has taken place.

The regional heats will take place in:

LONDON: Tuesday 26th April - Tattershall Castle

BRIGHTON: Wednesday 27th April - Komedia

BIRMINGHAM: Monday 2nd May - Cheeky Monkey

CARDIFF: Wednesday 4th May – Glee Club

GLASGOW: Monday 9th May - Glasgow Highlight

NEWCASTLE: Tuesday 10th May - The Hyena

MANCHESTER: Monday 16th May - Manchester Comedy Store

BELFAST: Tuesday 17th May - The Belfast Empire

The semi finals will take place on June 3 and 10. The final will be on Saturday 18 June, and broadcast on Radio 2.

Published: 28 Feb 2011

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.