What do Marcus Brigstocke, Sarah Millican, Peter Kay, Russell Howard, Nina Conti and Alan Carr all have in common?
Well, apart from the choice of vocation (stand-up comedy), all of these successful comedians and many, many more have taken part in the BBC New Comedy Award.
(Watch our launch film, starring 2012 winner Lucy Beaumont below.)
In its most recent guise (the award was resurrected in 2011 after a five year break), the award has had its semi-finals and final broadcast to the nation on BBC Radio 2, relying on its expansive web site to chart the progress of the talent search through videos, blogs and social media.
However, thanks to the amazing team at BBC Radio 4 Extra, in 2013 we’ll be able to broadcast every heat to the nation – meaning that all 80 comedians who make it through to the first round will be broadcast on digital radio, many for the first time in their careers.
If you’re a budding stand-up and have less than three years’ worth of experience gigging on the comedy circuit, we’d be really keen to receive your entry. All you need to do to get our attention is upload five minutes of audio to Soundcloud and fill in a short online form. Then, if you’re one of the 80 entrants who make us laugh the loudest, we’ll invite you to one of our eight heats across the UK.
Not a performer, but still a comedy fan? We need you too!
We’ll be asking you to vote for your winner during the live final, broadcasting on BBC Radio 2 in December. Last year’s ‘wildcard vote’ will also return, allowing voters to grant a second chance to two runners-up: your 2011 wildcard Angela Barnes, whose ‘second chance’ was a spot in the semi-finals, went on to win the competition, and 2012 wildcard Tommy Rowson sailed through his semi-final to place in the final six – proof that being a BBC Radio New Comedy Award runner-up should never be referred to as a consolation prize.
Here’s host Patrick Kielty talking to The Comedy Club’s Tom Wrigglesworth about the competition.