News: BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2015 Launched

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Applications are now invited for the BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2015. 

The competition, which first started in 1995, has kick-started the careers of many top UK comics. Past winners and finalists include Rhod Gilbert, Josie Long, Peter Kay, Angela Barnes, Alan Carr, Nina Conti, Sarah Millican and Russell Howard.

In 2011, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Comedy revived the award with a new format and, for the first time, included audience interactivity. Recent winners include 2012’s Lucy Beaumont. 2013 winner Steve Bugeja has supported Russell Kane on his tour and contributed material to a number of BBC TV and Radio comedy shows.

The 2015 winner takes home £1000 and development support from the BBC Radio Comedy department; with advice, guidance and the chance to appear in slots across the BBC.

Entrants need to submit a 5-7 minute comedy routine at www.bbc.co.uk/newcomedyaward before the closing date of July 9.

The 80 best entries will be selected for eight regional heats in August and September. Each night Radio 4 Extra will offer listeners the chance to hear these heats as well as some of the key moments of the BBC Radio New Comedy Awards. Clips of the winning heats will also be played on Steve Wright’s show on Radio 2 each Friday in the build-up to the live final which is aired on Radio 2 in November.

Executive Producer for BBC Comedy, Sam Bryant, and Steve Bennett, Editor of Chortle, will be the regular judges for the competition and at each heat they will be joined by an expert judge from within the comedy industry. At the final, a panel of judges will be present, but Radio 2 listeners will pick the winner by voting online or via SMS.

Last year’s winner, Lee Ridley AKA Lost Voice Guy, said: “Winning the BBC New Comedy Award was such a great experience. I simply couldn't believe it when they read out my name as the winner. It meant a lot to know that both the industry and general public thought I was that good, especially when you look at previous winners.

Winning the award has definitely opened up lots of opportunities for me. In fact, it gave me the push that I needed to quit my proper job and take up stand-up comedy full time. I've got a lot more gigs because of it, landed a couple of roles in television projects and, of course, I've got the amazing chance to write some for BBC Radio. I have the award to thank for most of that."

Full terms and conditions for entrants are available to view here.

The heats take place as follows:

Edinburgh – August 25th – Potterow

Edinburgh – August 27th – Potterow

Bath – September 8th – Komedia

Bath – September 9th – Komedia

London – September 15th – Up the Creek

London – September 16th – Up the Creek

Birmingham – September 22nd – The Glee Club

Birmingham – September 23rd – The Glee Club

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