Nic Wright

Entries open for BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2016

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The BBC Radio New Comedy Award has begun this year’s search for the comedy stars of the future.

The competition, which first started in 1995, has kick-started the careers of many 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 Radio 4, who will broadcast the live final, with the heats will be played out on Radio 4 Extra.

The winner 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.

Entrants need to submit a 5 minute comedy routine and complete the application form at before the closing date of Tuesday 19 April 2016.

The best 60 entries will be selected for six regional heats in June. The heats take place on 7-8 June at Up the Creek, London, the 21 – 22 June at The Comedy Store, Manchester and 28 – 29 June at The Glee Club, Cardiff.

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.

2013’s title was won by 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.

Sioned Wiliam, Commissioning Editor for Comedy, BBC Radio 4 said: “I am delighted to open the BBC Radio New Comedy Awards for entries for 2016; it feels right that the competition will now be hosted by Radio 4 which is after all the home of radio comedy.

“We have a long tradition of supporting new comedy talent and it’s very exciting to be searching for a brand new comedy star!”