Think you have what the world of comedy needs? The BBC Radio New Comedy Award returns for 2016, searching the UK to find the comedy stars of the future. The competition, which first started in 1995, has kick-started the careers of many top UK comics, with past winners and finalists including: Rhod Gilbert, Josie Long, Peter Kay, Angela Barnes, Alan Carr, Nina Conti, Lee Mack, Sarah Millican and Russell Howard.
For the first time the BBC Radio New Comedy Award will be hosted by the home of radio comedy Radio 4, who will broadcast the live final, and the heats will be played out on Radio 4 Extra.
Whoever wins will take home £1,000 and a 15-minute script commission from BBC Radio Comedy. All finalists will be mentored by the in house comedy department across the year and receive advice, guidance and the chance to appear in slots across the BBC.
The best 60 entries will be selected for six regional heats in June, recording in London’s Up The Creek, the Manchester Comedy Store and the Cardiff Glee Club. The semi-finals and finals will be recorded at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the final being broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 14 August.
The judging panel will consist of an editor from BBC Comedy; Steve Bennett, Editor of Chortle; plus a different stand-up comedian at each heat. At the final, an expert panel of judges made up of top names from the world of comedy will decide the winner, live on BBC Radio 4.
Recent winners include 2012’s Lucy Beaumont, who has a second series of To Hull And Back starting on Radio 4 later this year; and 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. In 2014 the title was taken by Lost Voice Guy who is currently writing a radio pilot for in house development, and in 2015 it was won by Yuriko Kotani, who is now working closely with the BBC Radio Comedy department.
Entrants need to submit a 5 minute comedy routine and complete the application form at www.bbc.co.uk/newcomedyaward before the closing date of Tuesday 19 April 2016.
Recordings of routines longer than five minutes will be disqualified.
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Full terms and conditions are available to view here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes
The heats take place as follows:
- London – 7 June – Up the Creek | London – 8 June – Up the Creek
- Manchester – 21 June – The Comedy Store | Manchester – 22 June – The Comedy
- Cardiff – 28 June – The Glee Club | Cardiff – 29 June – The Glee Club