Toolkit - Comedy

Don't talk about it… just write.Tim Prager

Explore blogs, interviews, scripts and other resources from BBC Writersroom about writing Comedy

Writing Comedy

Features on the BBC Writersroom website

Writing TV Sitcoms

Writing Radio Comedy

Medium and Format Guidelines

 

Blogs on Comedy

General Advice

What I learnt at the Salford Comedy Festival 2014 - full of tips and advice

My Salford Sitcom Festival 2015 by Shazia Ashraf & by Steve Bugeja

Writing Radio Comedy - links to a free iBook made by BBC Comedy plus website

Eddie Robson on the drafting process for Radio 4 comedy 'Welcome to our Village, Please Invade Carefully' (with all 8 drafts available to download)

The Comedy Freelance Years - by James Bugg

 

Our Schemes and Opportunities

An update from our Comedy Room - January 2016

Inside the Comedy Room, days 4 & 5 - February 2016

Fast and Funny from BBC Scotland Comedy - March 2016

The Comedy Room, what happened next - December 2016 

Inside our second Comedy Room - January 2017 

Notes and tips from the Comedy Scriptroom in May 2013

Room to Write - lots of advice on this blog by Keiron Nicholson about the Room to Write scheme from BBC Scotland Comedy

Room to Write - 3 lessons for Comedy writers

 

Specific shows and writers

Writing a viral hit for Tracey Ullman

Writing 'Uncle' for BBC Three by Lilah Vandenburgh

Scot Squad 

The Newsjack Writers' Room

Mackenzie Crook on writing Detectorists

People Just Do Nothing - from Youtube to BBC Comedy Feed to full series

Steve Pemberton on 'Inside no. 9'

A Quick Chat with Steve Pemberton in 2016 Part One & Part Two

A Quick Word with Caroline Moran

A Quick Chat with Jack Docherty 

A Quick Chat with Cariad Lloyd

Developing 'Boy Meets Girl' by writer Elliott Kerrigan

Bluestone 42 - the research process

 

Video interviews 

Comedy Conclusion - our first Comedy Room writers with their thoughts on the scheme

Great advice on Comedy writing from Script Editor and Writer Andrew Ellard (Red Dwarf, The IT Crowd etc)

Dane Baptiste on writing Sunny D for BBC Three

Richard Hurst and James Cary on Bluestone 42

Brent Forrester (The Ben Stiller Show, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, The Office US) shares his top comedy writing tips.

Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons, Futurama, Strange Hill High)

Adil Ray on Citizen Khan

 

Script Library 

We have an extensive Script Library, you’ll find lots of great sample scripts including Bluestone 42, Mrs Brown's Boys, The Walshes, Outnumbered, Puppy Love, Detectorists, Rev. Motherland, Scot Squad, Still Game, Boy Meets Girl, Inside No. 9 and Uncle.

 

From the BBC Academy

Training and development resources for the media industry.

Some of these resources apply directly to writing comedy sketches. Although we don't accept stand-alone sketches in our Script Room the advice may still be useful. If you are interested in submitting short-form comedy sketch material to the BBC then check-out The Show What You Wrote and Newsjack

Check out Nish Kumar's Nuggets! Great video with help to get your writing on the air

Writing for BBC Radio Comedy (also available as an iBook)

Getting Commissioned

The Show What You Wrote - writing to a brief

The Show What You Wrote - notes from a script editor

Submitting to the Show What You Wrote - a writer's perspective

Newsjack - Top Tips

Newsjack - Working with Script Editors

Newsjack - An easy approach to writing topical sketches

Producing Newsjack - from the Writers Room to the Edit Suite

Great tips on writing a successful sketch

 

Free Podcasts

Including Comedy masterclasses from Richard Curtis and Arthur Mathews and features including 'Making a Comedy Podcast' and 'Learning from the Comedy Greats'.

Free podcasts from the BBC College of Production

 

Other help

Comedy Writing Tips for Newcomers - The Guardian

100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy - Vulture

Seven Tips for getting your script ready for our Script Room - from Sitcom Geek

 

Have a go at writing a Comedy Sketch

On the Mixital website - with lots of tips

 

Submit a Script

Find out the dates for our next open submission window for Comedy Scripts - plus what we do and don't accept

Latest opportunities

  • Green Curtain Theatre - 3 Opportunities

    Green Curtain Theatre - 3 Opportunities

    Various deadlines. Green Curtain Theatre will be staging their 3rd festival of fringe plays in the summer and autumn of 2019 in London. The theme of the festival will be “Breaking Away”. They are looking for one act plays on this theme that reflect any aspect of the lives or experiences of Irish people living in multi-cultural Britain. They also have open opportunities for 10 minute monologues/duologues on the theme 'Leaving' and for short plays based on or connected to an Irish song.

  • Arundel Festival Theatre Trail 2019

    Arundel Festival Theatre Trail 2019

    Deadline: 31st January 2019. Writers are invited to submit plays for the 2019 Arundel Festival Theatre Trail, now in its nineteenth year.

  • University Women in the Arts - Women's Writing Workshop with Actor Awareness

    University Women in the Arts - Women's Writing Workshop with Actor Awareness

    Event: 22nd January 2019 at a central London venue. University Women in the Arts free writing workshop for female arts students and recent graduates run in partnership with Actor Awareness. Part of their project around tacking and helping to eradicate bullying, abuse and harassment in the arts.

View all opportunities

Latest scripts

  • The Golden Bowl

    The Golden Bowl

    Read these scripts from the BBC Radio Drama archive.

  • Bodyguard

    Bodyguard

    Read these scripts from the BBC TV Drama archive.

View all scripts

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