BBC Radio 2 presenter Steve Wright today launched the BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2013.
Steve was joined for the launch by last year’s winner of the New Comedy Award, Lucy Beaumont, who talked about how winning the competition has changed her life.
This year, for the first time, the New Comedy Award will see BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4 Extra team up for the competition. Radio 2 will air the launch, semi-finals and finals and Radio 4 Extra will host the regional heats.
The BBC Radio New Comedy Award aims to find the best up-and-coming stand-up talent throughout the land. The competition serves as a tremendous platform for aspiring comics to showcase their talent. With previous finalists including comedy royalty Alan Carr, Peter Kay, Sarah Millican and Russell Howard, entrants get the chance to follow in footsteps in some of comedy’s giants.
Presenter of the New Comedy Award, Patrick Kielty says: “It’s fantastic to be hosting the BBC Radio New Comedy Awards again and this year it’s bigger and better than ever. I can’t wait to be back on the stage introducing the people who tomorrow will be stealing my job.”
The best entries will be selected for eight regional heats. Each week Radio 4 Extra will offer listeners the chance to hear highlights from the heats as well as coverage of the Wildcard contenders. Clips of the winning heats will also be played on Steve Wright’s show on Radio 2 each Friday.
BBC Radio 2 Controller Bob Shennan says: “Radio 2 has a strong and lengthy tradition of championing emerging talent. The BBC Radio New Comedy Award is a terrific opportunity for budding comics to break through and we are glad to have BBC Radio 4 Extra on board to bring this fantastic talent to new audiences.”
Executive producer for BBC Radio Comedy Alison Vernon Smith and Steve Bennett, editor of comedy website Chortle, will be head judges for the competition. They will be joined at each heat by a specially chosen judge from the comedy industry. At the final, a panel of judges will be present on the night but it’s the Radio 2 listeners who will be in charge of picking the winner by voting online and via SMS.
Caroline Raphael, Commissioning Editor, BBC Radio 4 Extra says: “For anyone who enjoys comedy, Radio 4 Extra broadcasts a huge number of programmes from across the decades and indeed centuries. A cavalcade of the very best, some remembered well, some dusted off and heard for the first time in many years. It is too easy to forget that all this glorious talent was once unknown and unheard.
“So it is with huge pleasure that BBC Radio 4 Extra is co-hosting the 2013 BBC New Comedy Awards with BBC Radio 2. BBC Radio 4 Extra’s involvement means the regional heats will now be broadcast as part of 4 Extra’s The Comedy Club. They will become the archive of the future, for some of these new voices will become the stars of tomorrow and we will be able to say, you heard them here first.”
The semi-finals will then take place in Birmingham and London and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in November. The final then takes place on 9 December at The Comedy Store in London hosted by Patrick Kielty. This will be an hour-long show followed by a results show.
The winner of the 2013 BBC Radio New Comedy Award will receive £1,000, development advice and guidance from the BBC Comedy Department and the chance for a commission from BBC Radio Comedy.
Entrants need to apply through the BBC New Comedy Awards website, fill in the web form and upload or email an mp3 of their work. Anyone who has special requirements and is unable to apply through the website should call 03700 100 200.
The closing date for entries is the 28 June 2013. More information and application forms are available at bbc.co.uk/newcomedyaward
The heats will take place in the following locations:
Edinburgh on 20 August – BBC Potterrow
Edinburgh on 21 August – BBC Potterrow
Manchester on 3 September – The Comedy Store
Manchester on 4 September – The Comedy Store
Cardiff on 10 September – The Glee Club
Cardiff on 11 September – The Glee Club
London on 17 September – Up The Creek
London on 18 September – Up The Creek
Regional Talent involved in the 2012 Award:
Winner: Lucy Beaumont – (From Hull, lives in London)
Finalist: Matt Rees – (From and lives in Maesteg, Wales)
Finalist: Pete Otway – (From and lives in Manchester)
Finalist: Matthew Winning – (From and lives in Glasgow)
Finalist: Tommy Rowson – (From Wales, lives in London)
Finalist: Sunil Patel – (From and lives in London)
Semi-finalist: Hayley Ellis – (From Blackley, lives in Manchester)
Semi-finalist: Steph Peart – (From Oxford, lives in London)
Semi-finalist: Liam Pickford – (From and lives in Ashton-under-Lyne)
Semi-finalist: Kwame Asante – (From Kent, lives in London)
Semi-finalist: Harriet Kemsley – (From Bath, lives in London)
Semi-finalist: Stuart Hossack – (From and lives in Sussex)
Radio 2 has a strong and lengthy tradition of championing emerging talent. The BBC Radio New Comedy Award is a terrific opportunity for budding comics to break through and we are glad to have BBC Radio 4 Extra on board to bring this fantastic talent to new audiences.”