Caroline Aherne Bursary

Category: TV; Cross Platform

Caroline Aherne Bursary 2018 | BBC Comedy Commissioning, BBC Writersroom & BBC North | Deadline: 10am on Monday 5th November 2018

BBC Comedy Commissioning in partnership with BBC Writersroom and BBC North are delighted to announce the Caroline Aherne Bursary 2018. The inaugural bursary scheme in the memory of the late Caroline Aherne was launched last year at the Salford Sitcom Showcase. Aimed at writer/performers, the bursary will award £5000 to the successful applicant to enable them to fund future development, alongside the guidance of an experienced BBC commissioning editor. 

Sophie Willan, 2018 Bursary winner, says:

“Winning the Caroline Aherne Bursary has opened up so many doors and put me on the map not only as a stand up, but as a comedy writer and actress as well. I’ve met some amazing people, worked on some incredible TV and radio projects and I'm now developing my own sitcom script!  It’s a brilliant scheme that honours Caroline and truly supports new talent."

 Shane Allen, Controller BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: 

"The first year has worked so well with Sophie in seeing her profile and experience rapidly grow to the point where we're on course for a sitcom project. The Caroline Aherne Bursary is an extremely effective way to fast track a career in comedy for someone and a special way to remember and celebrate the legacy of someone audiences cherish very dearly."

What are we looking for?

In the spirit of Caroline’s work we are on the lookout for the next generation of character comedians. We want to find, develop and support great comedy talent who have the ability to speak to the whole nation.  If you can invent characters that make us laugh out loud and can tease an audience to come back for more, then we want to hear from you!  We’re looking for dynamic characters that radiate a northern authenticity - writer-performers who reflect modern Britain with voices that have not yet been heard; original comedy talent that’s just bursting to get on our screens. 

What's in it for you?

  • A £5,000 bursary from BBC North and BBC Comedy to support development of your work
  • A mentorship with a BBC Comedy commissioning editor  to develop a comedy script
  • Support and access to comedy training sessions with BBC Writersroom.
  • You’ll get to perform at the Salford Sitcom Showcase 2019!

What to submit

You will need to submit a link to filmed content of either 1 minute of one comedy character; or 2 minutes of multiple characters, along with a brief biography of your work to date.  Your character(s) must have the potential to develop in to or be linked to a sitcom idea.

We are not looking for high production values! The content can be filmed on a mobile phone as we’ll be judging this purely on the strength of the character and quality and humour of the writing and performance. 

If you have a great idea for an original sitcom or short form idea then we’d also like you to submit a synopsis (2 pages max).  This is however optional.

The deadline for entries is 10am on Monday 5th November 2018

Please submit via the Writersroom E-submission system

Read the full terms and conditions of entry


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