News: Applications Open For BBC New Comedy Award 2017

The BBC New Comedy Award 2017 has launched, once again hosted by Radio 4. The launch comes as Radio 4 announces the commission of a debut series from Lee Ridley – alias Lost Voice Guy – who won the BBC New Comedy Award in 2014.

Past winners and finalists include Alan Carr, Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Sarah Millican, Russell Howard, Joe Lycett, Josie Long, and Nina Conti. Other recent winners include 2011’s Angela Barnes, 2012’s Lucy Beaumont, 2013’s Steve Bugeja who has supported Russell Kane on his tour and contributed material to a number of BBC TV and Radio comedy shows; and 2015’s Yuriko Kotani, who recently made her TV acting debut in Pls Like on BBC Three. Sioned Wiliam, Commissioning Editor for Comedy, BBC Radio 4 said: “The New Comedy Award has an extraordinary record of choosing the stars of the future. I’m really looking forward to hearing voices from all over Britain competing for this highly prized award.”

As applications open for this year’s competition, Radio 4 has also announced Lee Ridley’s debut radio sitcom Ability, which weaves his real-life experience of living with cerebral palsy and speaking via a communication aid. The series is expected to air in 2018.

Ridley said: “Winning the BBC New Comedy Award was a life changing moment for me, it was when I finally realised I might just be funny after all! Obviously, it was also the beginning of my radio comedy career, and I’m delighted that Ability has been commissioned for a whole series. I had so much fun working on the pilot episode with lots of talented people, so I can’t wait to start work on the rest.” 

The winner of this year’s BBC New Comedy Award will take home £1000 and a 15 minute script commission from BBC Studios. All finalists will be mentored by the BBC Studios comedy team across the year and receive advice, guidance and the chance to write for and appear in slots across the BBC.

Entrants need to submit a five minute comedy routine and complete the application form here before the closing date of Thursday 4th May.

The best 60 entries will be selected for six regional heats, taking place across June and July in locations in London, Manchester and Cardiff, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

The final will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 13th August.  

Full terms and conditions here

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