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The deadline for applications was Sunday 27 February.

Terms and Conditions

The BBC Radio 2 New Comedy Award is a talent search organised by BBC Radio Comedy to find a stand up comedy star of the future.


1. The talent search is open to any person aged 18 or over as at 28 February 2011.
2. Applicants for the talent search must meet the following criteria:
i) you are not required to have performed on the comedy circuit and if you have you must not have been performing on the circuit for more than three years; and
ii) you must have at least seven minutes of un-broadcast material; and
iii) you must not have used this material on radio or television; and
iv) you must demonstrate an appreciation of comedy and a serious commitment to developing as a stand up comedian.
3. All applicants for the talent search must be resident and permitted to work in the United Kingdom for at least the period 28th February – 18th June.
4. Employees of the BBC and/or its subsidiaries are not permitted to enter the talent search.
5. The BBC reserves the rights to refuse any application for the talent search at its sole discretion and is not required to give any reason for such refusal and shall have no liability for any loss arising from such refusal.

Application Process

6. All applicants for the talent search must complete an application form available from or by telephoning 03700 100 200.
7. All applicants must submit their application form to the address supplied with the application form and must include an audio CD recording of themselves performing a five minute stand up routine (either with or without an audience). Audio CDs with stand up routines longer than five minutes will be disqualified.
8. All applications with accompanying audio CD must be received by 27 March 2011. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. The BBC reserves the right to extend the closing date as it may deem necessary.
9. Only one application per person will be accepted.
10. In order to ensure that the New Comedy Award is open to a wide range of potential comedians the BBC may, at its sole discretion, actively approach potential applicants and invite them to apply.
11. Due to the anticipated volume of applications, applications will not be acknowledged and materials will not be returned. Applicants are advised to retain copies for their own records. Proof of sending an application is not proof of receipt.
12. All eligible applications will be assessed by BBC Radio Comedy and successful applicants will be notified in the week commencing 18 April 2011.

Heats Process

13. The BBC will invite successful applicants for the talent search to the heats to perform five minutes of original material to a judging panel and live audience.
14. The heats will be judged on:
i) originality of material; and
ii) quality of writing; and
iii) performance and delivery; and
iv) audience engagement.
15. The winner of each heat will receive a place in the semi-final.
16. The winner of each heat will be announced online after each heat with video/audio of the winner available online.
17. The runner up from each heat will be put to an online vote to take place after all heats have finished and the two most popular runners up will receive a place in the semi-final.
18. Heats will take place between 25 April 2011 and 20 May 2011 at venues in Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Cardiff, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Newcastle. There will be ten places available at each venue, and ten heats overall.
19. The BBC will endeavour but does not guarantee to offer successful applicants the opportunity to participate in a heat at the venue nearest to them.
20. Attendance at the heats is solely at applicants own cost and risk. The BBC will not reimburse travel expenses incurred to attend any heat.


21. The two successful runners up from the online vote will be notified on or after 1 June 2011. One will go through to each semi final.
22. The semi finals will be recorded on 3 June 2011 and 10 June 2011 and broadcast as two programmes with six contenders in each programme.
23. Each contender will be required to perform six minutes maximum of original material which the BBC will edit, at its sole discretion, to four minutes for broadcast purposes.
24. The judging panel at the semi-finals will choose three acts from each semi-final who will go forward to the final.


25. The final will be recorded as live on 18 June 2011.
26. All six finalists will perform.
27. The judging panel will give comments but will not decide on a winner save that in the event of technical failure of the public vote the judges will decide on the winner.
28. Once all entrants have performed the listening audience will be invited to vote for their favourite via a telephone vote. The most popular of the six finalists with the listening audience will be declared the winner.


29. The winner of the BBC New Comedy Award will receive the opportunity to perform on a slot in BBC Radio 2's Comedy Zone. The winner will also receive development advice and guidance from BBC Radio Comedy and the possibility of appearing on other slots on BBC Radio.
30. The BBC reserves the right to alter and/or withdraw the prize at any time for one of equal or greater value. There is no cash alternative for the prize.


31. All applicants to the BBC New Comedy Award will warrant that their material is wholly original and does not infringe the rights of any other person or parties.
32. No material submitted will be defamatory or obscene or likely to bring the BBC into disrepute and will be suitable for broadcast on BBC Radio 2.
33. The BBC reserves the right to reject any entry which is illegible, inaudible, arrives after the closing date, is submitted by an ineligible applicant or for any other reason at its sole discretion.
34. All applicants agree to undertake all reasonable press and publicity as may be required by the BBC including without limitation radio interviews.
35. All applications become the property of the BBC save rights in and to the original comedy material. All applicants grant the BBC a royalty free licence to use the audio material submitted in any media throughout the Universe for the purposes of the BBC New Comedy Awards and to use information supplied by the applicant (save for sensitive personal data).
36. All information submitted by applicants is handled in accordance wit the Data Protection Act 1994. The BBC’s privacy policy can be viewed at
37. The decisions of the judges and the BBC are final and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into.
38. The BBC reserves the right to alter and/or cancel the BBC New Comedy Award at its sole discretion and shall have no liability for any loss arising.

The New Comedy Award

More information about the New Comedy Award in 2012 coming soon. To be the first to hear details, follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook Page.


The BBC Radio 2 New Comedy Award 2011 was a nationwide search to find the best in new stand-up comedy talent. Find out more.


Watch videos from the 2011 Award.

From the NCA Blog

The New Comedy Award 2012 final at the Blackpool Grand Theatre kicks off at 8pm on BBC...Read more


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