BBC seeks out transgender writers

Jon Plowman Jon Plowman is a judge of the Trans Comedy Award

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The BBC is seeking new writers from the transgender community to contribute to mainstream comedy.

BBC Writersroom, the unit for championing new writing, is launching a talent search, offering up to £5000 for the development of a television pilot that features the positive portrayal of transgender characters or themes.

The search is being run in partnership with Trans Comedy, a group which aims to give the transgender community a voice.

The £5000 Trans Comedy Award will be judged by panel of BBC executives. It is open for submissions until February 28.

'Inaccurate deadwood'

Claire Parker, Trans Comedy's project lead, would like the award 'to break down the barriers of fear and assumption'.

In a blog for Writersroom, the stand-up comedian wrote: 'The trans community live the trans experience first hand, day to day, and are the best and only source if you want to find out what offends them and what makes them tick.

'So by joining forces with the trans community, who are driving this project, and the BBC, who is supporting it through the award money and expertise, we can encourage trans-themed comedy scripts that are funny, positive and that cut through all the negative, inaccurate deadwood that have muddied the waters over the years, blocking out what truly lies beneath.'

Executive producer of comedy Jon Plowman, one of the judges of the award, added that it's a 'no brainer' to seek out great characters from a community already rich in them.

In December the BBC was told to be 'bolder' in its portrayal of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Leading members of the gay community believed the minority group was still underrepresented by broadcasters despite a gradual improvement over the last decade.

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