BBC picks comics' sitcoms to develop

Six ideas showcased

Sitcoms from stand-ups Jason Cook and Pippa Evans are among those to be performed as part of a BBC initiative to develop new ideas for broadcast.

They are among the six scripts to be performed by actors as part of the BBC’s first Salford Sitcom Showcase next month. The hope is that one or more of the ideas will be commissioned into a series for one of the BBC channels.

Cook’s show is called Hebburn, after the Tyneside town where he is from, and is being developed with top comedy production house Baby Cow with the aim of making it to BBC Three.

Evans – who performs on the circuit as embittered singer-songwriter Loretta Maine as well as being part of the Showstoppers! improvised musical troupe – is working on a show called Be Our Guest.

The other shortlisted shows are:

  • Citizen Khan, based on Adil Ray’s character as a self-appointed ‘community leader’, as featured on Bellamy’s People.
  • Up! a student comedy from Life of Riley creator Georgia Pritchett
  • A show called Samdwiched aimed at BBC One by writer Tony Sarchet, who previously created the Radio 4 series Delve Special, which starred Stephen Fry as a spoof investigative reporter.
  • Single White Male, a show being developed for BBC Two by Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You writer Dan Gaster and collaborator Rob Colley, who writes for Graham Norton.

Meanwhile, another of the BBC’s outlets for new writers, Newsjack, returns to Radio 4 Extra next week with new host Justin Edwards.

The show has an open-door policy for writers, and the brief for submissions is here.

Two other events aimed at those trying to break into TV comedy are planned for the next month, too.

The Development Producers Group, aimed at those developing TV shows on the production side, is holding a free session on TV comedy in London on October 4. Speakers will be the BBC’s executive editor for comedy Simon Wilson, Saurabh Kakkar, creative director for comedy at ITV Studios , and Baby Cow’s managing director Henry Normal. Click here for details

And Women in Television is hosting a breakfast at London’s Groucho Club with Lucy Lumsden, head of comedy at Sky, on September 22. This two-hour session, limited to eight guests, costs £25 for non-members. Details here.

Published: 7 Sep 2011

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