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Tilt is a new topical sketch show that takes you behind the week’s news. And then mucks about with it a bit.
Tilt cast
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Come along to the recording of Tilt. Apply via the BBC Tickets homepage.

Want to submit material to Tilt?  Take a look at the Writers Room page.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

Tilt is BBC7's first topical comedy sketch show, starring Simon Brodkin, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Olly Maltman, Nick Mohammed, Isy Suttie and Katy Wix.  The producer is Victoria Lloyd.

If you are a budding comedy writer, find out how to contribute to the series at the Writers Room Tilt page.

Thursdays at 11.30pm and 4.30am
Episode 1 - 27th March 2008
Episode 2 - 3rd April 2008
Episode 3 - 10th April 2008
Episode 4 - 17th April 2008
Episode 5 - 24th April 2008
Episode 6 - 1st May 2008

Non-commissioned comedy writers Julie Bower and Griff Phillips describe their experiences of getting sketches broadcast in Tilt:

Julie Bower
I’ve been writing sketches for London fringe comedy shows for a couple of years now, as well as plays and short films and I’ve also pitched ideas to radio 4 but this is the first time I’ve had anything broadcast. I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of material would be most suitable, but the production team sent us some useful guidelines to give us an idea of what kind of show this was going to be and which news items to avoid. With this in mind I short listed news stories which had universal appeal and could be approached from an original angle, and developed a few ideas which felt funny and interesting to me.

I went along to the first live recording at Up the Creek Comedy Club in Greenwich not knowing if my submissions were right for the show or if they were going to be used. I nearly dropped my wine when my material popped up half way through the recording, and I was relieved to hear the jokes getting laughs from the live audience. The atmosphere was great and the performances had a very slick pace and loads of energy, which was impressive considering the quick turnaround with this kind of show.

News based sketch material is a great opportunity to take real world events and turn them into something fun and absurd, something which I think Tilt does very well. My sketch was based on an item about NUT and government legislation on class sizes. I got chatting to a couple of members of the audience after the show who turned out to be teachers. They were very complimentary which made my night!

I’m currently developing a new sitcom and a radio 4 play, so the experience of hearing my material broadcast has been an invaluable learning curve, and has given me some useful ideas to incorporate into future projects.

Griff Phillips
I got into writing comedy by playing piano for a village panto and thinking "Surely we must be able to come up with something funnier than these tired old scripts?". With the help of another writer, Mike Codner, we wrote several shows from scratch and I got hooked on comedy writing. So I attended Dave Cohen's comedy class at Raindance and Gill Smith's comedy classes at Reading University. Both were terrific. I learned about comedy techniques and how the industry works, and also met lots of other writers, including Stuart Cooper with whom I now regularly co-write.

After this I started to submit material to live comedy shows such as "NewsRevue", "The Treason Show" and "The Sitcom Trials". These shows are very friendly to new writers. Watching your material in front of a live audience is the real test of comedy, and you quickly learn that not everything you write works! It's tough watching your jokes bomb, but fantastic when you get those big laughs.

Dave Cohen recently emailed me to tell me that the BBC were looking for writers for "Tilt". By this time I had discovered the "British Sitcom Guide" website run by Mark and Aaron, where aspiring comedy writers discuss the fine points of setups and punchlines. Dave had published a lot of advice on BSG about writing for "Tilt" so there was no excuse not to submit something!

I submitted a sample sketch to "Tilt", and a "pitch document" of ideas. Producer Victoria Lloyd contacted me to say she liked my sketch, but suggested some changes. She also mentioned which sketches from my pitch document would be worth developing.
I amended the sample sketch, wrote up the ideas she liked, and sent them back ASAP. I was then delighted to get an email from Victoria on the day of transmission, saying that the sketch I had amended had been recorded for broadcast. Listening to the show go out late at night was nerve-wracking but fun! I needn't have worried though - I was very pleased with the way the Tilt cast recorded my sketch and I hope to get some more in the show before the series ends! 

Comedy writer and producer Gareth Gwynn shares his thoughts on writing for Tilt:

There’s something very 21st Century about my involvement with Tilt. I’d always imagined that topical comedy shows generally involved a group of people crammed in a room, eating biscuits, drinking coffee, frantically distilling the week’s newspapers into setups and punchlines, whilst bouncing ideas across the office and ploughing through draft after draft of a script that is constantly updated with every Radio 4 news bulletin that spills from the longwave radio in the corner of the room.

I’m sure that still goes on of course, but I’m not a part of it. I live and work about 200 miles from the epicentre of all things Tilt, so my contributions are destined to be solely via email. I’ve only made it to one meeting - right at the start, when the idea for Tilt was first being mooted, and we were working out exactly what it would become (and, possibly more interestingly, what we didn’t want it to become). I headed down to London on a train that was so severely delayed I was offered free food and drink by staff. In all my years of delayed train travel, I’d never experienced this sort of compensation, so presumed I would be spending the night on the train and so stocked up accordingly. In the end, I turned up a mere hour late, with far more ideas than I would have otherwise had thanks to an extended stop in Swindon and a healthy amount of complimentary Diet Coke.

Fortunately, I don’t have to endure this on a weekly basis now that the series has started. I presume that in the days of Weekending, long-distance contributions were still encouraged, but you can only be so topical, when you’re relying on the Royal Mail. Thanks to the internet, I can submit sketches and cut-ups for consideration, right up to the last minute – provided my housemate hasn’t broken the router. So even now, as I write this, bedridden with flu with only a few hours to go to the recording, if I came up with a suitable one-liner and fired it off in time, it might make it onto the show. Not that that would happen. I’m up to my eyeballs in Beechams and unable to do anything suitably constructive - but like time-travel or a conclusive solution to the Riemann Hypothesis in pure mathematics, in theory, it’s possible.

Plus by operating at a distance, I get to keep my romanticised image of witty Oxbridge graduates honing one-liners and drinking BBC coffee in tact, no matter how incorrect it is almost certain to be.
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