Caroline Aherne Bursary

Award in memory of the comedy star and writer supporting the development of new comedy talent

I look forward to continuing [Caroline's] legacy with my own updated take on the Northern, working-class experience as part of this bursary and hopefully inspire the next generation, just as Caroline inspired me
— Sophie Willan, 2017 winner

Designed to find, develop and support great new comedy talent, the bursary was named in honour of the late award-winning comedy writer and performer Caroline Aherne, who created The Royle Family and Mrs Merton.

Now in its fourth year, it has proved a great springboard for talented writer/performers to bring new work to the screen.

Each year the winner is awarded £5000 to support the development of a comedy script and also receives mentoring from a BBC Comedy Commissioning Editor.

Sophie Willan was named as the first winner of the Caroline Aherne Bursary in 2017. Her pilot Alma’s Not Normal premiered on BBC Two in April 2020 and has now been commissioned as a full series.

Writer/performer Amy Gledhill won the award in 2018 and now has a number of ideas in development.

This year's winner is Kiri Pritchard-McLean who is currently developing her scripted comedy idea with the BBC.

Applications for next year's bursary will open soon and all details on how to apply will be available here, so please check back.