Get your open mics out, because the BBC New Comedy Award 2017 has officially started. Today (06.04.17) saw the pistols being fired – metaphorically speaking – from the top of BBC HQ towers in a bid to find the best new comedy talent in the UK and applications are now being accepted.
The competition will be running throughout Spring and Summer 2017 and it’ll be hosted, as ever, by the beauties at BBC Radio 4 with the final being broadcast live from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on Sunday the 13th August. Mark Watson, who recently won the ridiculous Celebrity Boat Race with underwhelming ceremony, will compère both the semi-final and the final in Edinburgh this year and for the final he’ll have a host of comedy greats on the panel of judges to select the winner.
You’ll also be able to listen into the six regional heats on Radio 4 Extra as the best 60 entrants go toe-to-toe in London, Manchester and Cardiff, performing their entry routine live in from of judges and an audience for the first time.
The finalists from the heats will then be mentored by the BBC Studios comedy team, who are supposed to be a good laugh despite their hipster visage. They’ll be giving them advice, guidance and the opportunity to appear in more slots across the Beeb in a bid to get them battle hardened for the big bruise up in the ancestral home of fighting (if Rob Roy and Braveheart are to be believed), Scotland. There’s no word on a training montage or inspirational sound track as of yet, but fingers crossed they’ve been penciled into a hipster Filofax somewhere.
How to enter the BBC New Comedy Award 2017
If you’re brave enough to throw yourself into the mix for the BBC New Comedy Award 2017, all you need to do to enter is send in a five minute recording of your comedy routine and complete the application form, which you can find at www.bbc.co.uk/newcomedyaward. Your routine can be either a sketch, music comedy skit type thing or straight-up, old-school stand up comedy.
Past winners have gone on to be pretty big stars with the likes of Alan Carr, Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Sarah Millican, Russell Howard and Josie Long picking up the award previously. 2014 winner, Lee Ridley (known professionally as Lost Voice Guy), has also recently been commissioned for a debut comedy series called Ability, which is due to air in 2018 following the success of the pilot episode, which went out on Radio 4 earlier in 2017.
Check out Lee’s tweet to see the pilot for yourself, although there’s only three days left to listen at the time of writing, so you might want to get your skates, homemade knee protector cushions and motorcycle crash helmet on fast if you don’t want to miss it.