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An update from the Producer...

Lianne Coop | 11:19 UK time, Thursday, 10 March 2011

We launched last week – it’s been a hectic build up to get the Award revived, and it’s a thrill to be able to open up this exciting search to all of the untapped comedy talent out there. Some of today’s top comedy stars took part in previous years – just look at our list on the about page

So, we are a week in. We got through the launch in one piece, our Radio 2 host Patrick Kielty kicked things off on Steve Wright’s show as well as appearing on BBC Breakfast (okay, okay, I know the lifestyle of comedians and most of you won’t have been out of bed before 9am! So watch again here) and the One Show also ran a piece for us. And our website launched, which we will be updating with lots of juicy content as we run through the next 4 months. 

Applications are coming in (see the image below), and we can’t wait to start going through them after the submission period closes on 27th March – it’s only a few weeks, so if you still have to get your application in, don’t hesitate – do it now! Go to our apply page, read the terms and conditions, download the application form and send in with a 5 minute example of you performing a set (it can be with an audience, or just you in your bedroom/kitchen). You can also request a printed application form by calling 03700 100 200. Remember that the cut-off date for us to receive applications is 27th March.


Applications are coming in...

We’ve had a few questions that keep cropping up. They are covered in our terms and conditions, but I’ll answer some here to help. 

- Firstly, this is open to anyone aged 18 and over, who is eligible to work in the UK and is resident here for the duration of the search (which is 28th Feb to 18th June), and you cannot have been gigging on the circuit for more than 3 years. You're not required to have performed on the circuit to apply – you just can’t have been doing it for more than 3 years. 

- You need to send in an audio CD of your set, no longer than 5 minutes, together with an application form which gives us a bit more info about you. We can't accept any submissions via email/upload I'm afraid.  

- The search will culminate in shows broadcast on Radio 2, so your material needs to cut across on radio (so overly visual gags probably aren’t going to work so well). And you should bear in mind that as this is going to be broadcast on national primetime radio, you will need to be able to be “radio-friendly” (so not too blue/sweary). 

- This is primarily a stand up competition – that’s not to say that duos can’t apply, but we are not looking for sketch comedy this time around. 

And in answer to what are we looking for? Primarily we want you to make us laugh! We are looking for someone with original material who can structure a set together and perform with that certain something in front of an audience. You could be a one liner gag merchant or more of a story teller set up and punch line, you could be political, topical, a character stand up, you might be musical, whimsical.. We want to hear from you all! 

Have a look at the couple of videos we’ve uploaded already on our video page – coming up in the next couple of weeks we’ll have interviews with Sarah Millican, Tom Allen, Rhod Gilbert, Lee Mack and more – all giving you their thoughts and advice on being a stand up comedian. 

We are on Facebook, and Twitter – so do follow us and tell your friends! If you have any questions, you can ask us there or email newcomedyawards@bbc.co.uk and we’ll get back to you within a couple of days. 

Also – if you’re a comedy club or students' union and would like a poster, let us know and we’ll happily send one out to you!

Good Luck everyone! 

Lianne Coop is the producer of the BBC Radio 2 New Comedy Award 2011


  • Comment number 1.

    You don't mention how many gigs over three years is 'on the circuit'. One person could do eight gigs spread over three years, due to lack of confidence and/or opportunity, and not be eligible, another could have done thirty in 18 months and be eligibile. That doesn't seem fair.


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