Entries open for BBC New Comedy Awards 2024 | As Babatunde Aléshé named head judge

Entries open for BBC New Comedy Awards 2024

As Babatunde Aléshé named head judge

Entries have opened for this year’s BBC New Comedy Awards.

For the 19th year of the competition, comedian Babatunde Aléshé has been named head judge. He will be joined at six regional heats by a local comic and a TV comedy industry expert.

The comic said: ‘I’m over the moon to be asked by the BBC to be their head judge for the New Comedy Awards. This prestigious competition has seen a raft of amazing comics taking part over the years.  I can’t wait to see what brand-new talent the UK has to offer this year.’

Last year. more than 1,200 people applied.

The heats take place in September and will be televised weekly from October 2 on BBC Three, with the final being screened on BBC One in November featuring a performance by 2023 winner Joe Kent-Walters, aka Frankie Monroe.

The winner will receive a paid commission to write and perform their own 30-minute audio pilot under the mentorship of a BBC comedy commissioner, plus a trophy and £1,000 cash.  They will also get to perform live on the BBC as part of Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day in March  next year.

Now in its 19th year, the New Comedy Awards have helped launch the careers of Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Russell Howard, Alan Carr, Sarah Millican, Josie Long and Joe Lycett as well as more recent winners Dan Tiernan and Anna Thomas.

Jon Petrie, BBC director of comedy, said: ‘Some of the biggest names in British comedy have come up through the BBC New Comedy Awards over the years, and it continues to be fertile ground for finding the big stand-up names of the future. 

‘I'm sure 2024 will unearth some brilliant new talent, if you've thought about applying - do it!’

And Kent-Walters, who previously won the Chortle Student Comedy Award too, said of the BBC contest: ‘It has been such an incredible experience this past year. My life has changed in ways I could only have dreamed of. 

‘It’s still such a surreal feeling, it took a while to sink in that I had won. I think the icing on the cake to round it all off will be performing at this year’s grand final and handing the baton on to this year’s winner.’

Closing date is June 30, and to apply visit www.bbc.co.uk/newcomedyawards, where all the terms and  can also be found.

Here, Aléshé explains more:

The BBC New Comedy Awards will be made by Phil McIntyre Television. The 2023 series is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Published: 20 May 2024

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