Category: Comedy Hot House

Caroline Norris joins Candle & Bell as EP for Comedy

Posted on by North East Screen

BAFTA award winning and Emmy nominated producer Caroline Norris has joined Candle & Bell as Executive Producer of Comedy. As a producer on Motherland, Tracey Ullman’s Show, and Horrible Histories (amongst many others) Caroline brings a wealth of knowledge in developing and producing comedy for television. Gateshead based Candle & Bell has a strong track record in producing scripted comedy films, and with the help of Caroline, the company is now breaking into the Television industry, by developing new ideas for sit-coms.

“I’m so excited to be working with Candle & Bell.” Said Caroline. “They have a wealth of fantastic ideas and talent relationships, and also an excellent office dog which is obviously of vital importance”

In June 2023, Candle & Bell celebrates 10 years in business. The company has come a long way from its humble beginnings, and has won two RTS awards and produced hundreds of hours of commercial content, as well as numerous award winning short films. Most recently Candle & Bell produced series 2 of ShortFlix for Sky Arts.

In February 2023, Candle & Bell was awarded Small Indie Fund for comedy from the BBC, alongside investment from the REACH Film and TV grant from North East Screen. This finance has been crucial in aiding the growth of the company and helping the team pursue their ambitions to grow their slate of TV projects. The company has also added award winning producer Zahra Zomorrodian to its team, to lead development of the comedy slate.

The company recently won a development commission on a TV sitcom idea with local writer Elijah Young, and founder Maria Caruana Galizia is looking forward to working with Caroline on developing the slate of projects even further.

“Working with Caroline has already had a huge impact on Candle & Bell. She is just as driven as we are to succeed and we knew from our first meeting with her she would be the perfect person to help us develop and produce outstanding comedy TV shows. The money from BBC and North East Screen has made a substantial difference to Candle & Bell, and by adding Zahra and Caroline to the team, our comedy slate has progressed at a rapid pace over the last few months. It’s a really exciting time for us and we’re incredibly grateful to the BBC and North East Screen for their support. ”

North East Screen is the screen agency for the North East, dedicated to helping production companies and talent in the North East of England thrive. Lisa Laws, Head of Talent and Business Development at North East Screen, commented ‘’NE Screen are thrilled to partner with BBC Comedy to support Candle and Bell with these exciting new appointments. Caroline brings an exceptional track record, connections and world class experience that will give the development team a real boost. We cannot wait to see what new voices and stories they uncover for BBC audiences.”

Two North East organisations awarded BBC Comedy grants

Posted on by North East Screen

Laurels and Felt Nowt have both been selected to receive £5,000 from BBC Comedy to support their comedy outreach and inclusion projects.

The recipients of the comedy grants were announced by Jon Petrie at the BBC Comedy Festival in Cardiff on Thursday the 25th of May. The grants are an opportunity for BBC Comedy to increase engagement with companies and organisations that want to support growth and access opportunities in comedy.

Laurels, a popular entertainment venue in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, will be using their BBC Comedy grant to help move comedy talent from lower socio-economic backgrounds off social media and into larger-scale development.

Felt Nowt plan to use its grant to extend its programme to focus on workshops for LGBTQ+ comedy performers in the region. They said: “We were delighted to receive this grant, it will help us on our mission to bring more comedy to the region and we are excited to find some exciting new comedians from underrepresented communities”

Lisa Laws, Head of Talent and Development at North East Screen said: “I’m really excited to see what Laurels and Felt Nowt can bring to the region’s emerging comedy scene supporting talent and audiences to imagine possibilities for crossing over from theatre to screen. They are both already doing some amazing work, and I looking forward to seeing what’s next.”

North East comedy short Where it Ends is now on BBC iPlayer

Posted on by North East Screen

A new BBC Comedy short called Where it Ends premiered at the BBC Comedy Festival in Cardiff and is now available to watch on BBC iPlayer. The short was filmed in the North East with a cast and crew who were also primarily from the region.

In the short, actor Jack joins a panto tour of care homes, where he is confronted with the reality of where it ends. The comedy stars Jack Robertson, Lauren Pattison, Charlie Hardwick and Dave Johns.

Where It Ends is a Tiger Aspect (a Banijay UK company) production for BBC iPlayer and BBC Three. The writer is Jack Robertson, the director is Fergal Costello, and the executive producers are David Simpson and Sam Ward. It was commissioned for the BBC by Emma Lawson and Navi Lamba.

Writer and star of the short Jack Roberston said: “Where it Ends is a personal story of something that actually happened to me and has stayed with me for years. So to be able to work with such fantastic people to bring the story to life, for screen, was amazing. But the best bit was the catering, the chips on set were perfectly seasoned.”

Head of Talent and Business Development at North East Screen, Lisa Laws said: “I’m thrilled that Jack, a hot new writer/performer has been given this first step to develop with BBC Comedy in mind. It is a brilliant opportunity to showcase original comedy characters rooted in real experiences and we are excited by the possibility that it could grow into a long-form series in the region. I have no doubt that this will not be the last we see of Jack, his comedy characters or, the on-screen talent showcased in Where it Ends.

“Hugely grateful to David Simpson, Head of Comedy Tiger Aspect who has pulled together an exceptional team and a stellar cast, including Dave Johns and Charlie Hardwick, to bolster our exciting new talent.”

The production of Where it Ends featured a number of fresh comedy talent stepping across into the industry including Mark Kenny, a Comedy Development Producer from Sunderland. Where it Ends was Mark’s first assistant producer role after crossing over from the teaching profession. He is now working on another scripted comedy from Tiger Aspect, part of Banijay. Mark has great transferable skills and an unparalleled drive and enthusiasm, which has enabled him to break into the industry at speed. Best of it is, in true Comedy Hot House style, he likes to keep the doors open for his fellow creatives too.

Also involved was Katija Roberts who was shadow director on the production. The North of Tyne-based director was given the chance to shadow on the short following the Film Hub North/BFI ‘Scratch me’ program.

On her time working on the short, Katija said: “It was a really great experience shadowing on Where It Ends. I’d just come straight from directing a BFI short, so for a start it was interesting to be part of a short film production with a much larger budget and to see what that gets you. I also found the discussions between David, Sam, Fergal, Jack and BBC really insightful from casting through to the final edit. It was a great team and everyone was super welcoming and invited my opinions all the way through the process.”

Where it Ends is available on BBC iPlayer from today (Friday 26 May) and will be shown on BBC Three in the coming months.

Benjamin Bee named as a recipient of the BBC Comedy Collective bursary scheme

Posted on by North East Screen

BBC Director of Comedy Jon Petrie today announced the 10 recipients of a supercharged bursary scheme – the BBC Comedy Collective – for up-and-coming writers, producers and directors to develop their careers further in scripted comedy.

Newcastle’s Benjamin Bee has been listed as one of the recipients the scheme which is committed to nurturing the next generation of comedy talent. Previous BBC comedy bursary winners have gone on to make BAFTA award-winning TV series, secure script commissions, get agents and produce radio shows.

Ben is from Newcastle. A troubled childhood meant he left school aged 14 without any qualifications. Since then he has graduated from the London Film School and is a multi-award-winning writer, whose short-form work has been long-listed twice for the BAFTA awards and screened at over 400 festivals worldwide.

In 2019, Ben was selected as a Screen International Star of Tomorrow, and is currently in development on his first feature, Marwell, a touching, time-travel comedy-drama, without any time travel. Marwell was selected for Biennale College–Cinema, EIFF Talent Lab Connects, and is in development with the BFI Film Fund. Ben is also developing a number of projects for TV. He proudly identifies as neurodivergent and disabled.

On the announcement of the recipients of the BBC Comedy Collective, Head of Talent and Development at North East Screen, Lisa Laws said: “I’m really chuffed to see the range of North East talent considered for this opportunity, and I’m thrilled that Ben will be part of the first ever BBC Comedy Collective. Ben speaks with so much passion and enthusiasm not only for comedy, but for the North East as well.”

Speaking at the BBC Comedy Festival, in Cardiff, Jon Petrie said: “Some of the best writers, producers and directors in TV and film started their careers on BBC Comedy shows and we’re committed to giving the next generation of talent their big breaks. The BBC Comedy Collective supports on and off screen talent from across the UK and will provide brilliant opportunities to our first cohort. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Each bursary winner will receive up to £10k worth of paid shadowing on a BBC Comedy production, along with an allocated production mentor, plus a £5k development grant to put towards new material at the end of their placement. They will also have a dedicated point of contact within the BBC Comedy Commissioning team to help guide them through their year, as well as access to the Comedy Collective representatives.

The BBC Comedy Collective comprises of estate representatives, Geoff Schuman and Paul Whitehouse (for Felix Dexter), Tessa Le Bars and the Galton Family (for Galton & Simpson), Lucy Ansbro (for Caroline Aherne) plus the new producer and director representatives, Ash Atalla and Christine Gernon, alongside the alumni of previous BBC bursary winners.

The Collective will work in partnership with BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales, with the support of BBC Writersroom, BBC History, BBC Academy, BAFTA and a range of screen agencies including North East Screen and Creative Wales.

Benjamin Bee – Recipient of the BBC Comedy Collective Bursary

Newcastle based TV Post-production house lands work for BBC Comedy short film

Posted on by North East Screen

The Church Post, an editing facility in Byker, Newcastle has completed the post-production of a BBC Comedy short film, ‘Where it Ends’ for London production company Tiger Aspect.

‘Where It Ends’, a short film produced by Tiger Aspect was written, developed and shot entirely in the North East of England with all cast and crew from the region. The Church Post was commissioned by Tiger Aspect to complete the post-production of the comedy short making it a fully North East produced programme.

Lisa Laws, Head of Talent and Business Development at North East Screen said;

“We are delighted that The Church Post along with East Wing Sound were contracted to deliver this work which shows we have the talent and drive in the North East to grow businesses that will support more commissions to be developed, filmed and edited in the region.”

The Church Post provided Tiger Aspect with the Offline Edit, Online Edit, Colour Grade, VFX, Dubbing mix, ADR, QC and Dispatch. Their new editing suite in Newcastle has three offline edits running Avid and Premiere and one finishing suite in Resolve alongside the dubbing and ADR suite.”

Sheree Black, Production Executive at Tiger Aspect Productions said;

“This was our first time working with The Church Post and it has been an excellent one. It is a top end facility with a knowledgeable, creative and helpful team which helped make our BBC short, ‘Where it Ends’, something we’re extremely proud of. We are looking forward to working with the team again.”

James Baxter, Founder of The Church Post said;

“We are looking to expand to five edit suites over the next year and we have employed post-production producer Emily Ballantyne to support us in our growth. We are also looking to bring on two trainee editors/ edit assistants from the North East and invest in the infrastructure of the building with faster internet connection and a larger storage space.

I am delighted with how ‘Where it End’s has turned out which is thanks to our hardworking and talented team of Mark Lediard, Rich McCoull, Emily Ballantyne and David Scott. We would welcome more post-production in the North East.”

Lisa Laws continued;

“To have this sort of facility here is exactly what we’re aiming for as part of the  wider North East Screen Industries Partnership as it shows a real commitment from broadcasters and out of region production companies to grow not only our talent and companies but also our infrastructure. It ensures that once a production company has filmed here, they can stay to complete the editing, keeping investment in the region and sustaining work for our talented and specialist post production crew.”

NE Screen Comedy Hot House wins regional RTS Centre Award 2023

Posted on by Victoria Glass

North East Screen wins big at the North East and Borders Royal Television Society Awards with their Comedy Hot House winning the prestigious Centre Award for outstanding contribution to the industry.

The award, which recognises an individual, team or organisation’s work either in front of the camera or behind the scenes, was awarded for the team’s development of TV scripted comedy writers, directors, producers and production companies in the North East.

The Comedy Hot House helped attract the first BBC City of Comedy to Newcastle, which led to the region playing host to the BBC Comedy Festival in May 2022, which brought some of the biggest names in comedy to the city.

As part of the festival, BBC Comedy and North East Screen launched the Regional Partnership Scheme with Hat Trick Productions which resulted in the comedy giant working with Hartlepool-based production company Sea and Sky Pictures to develop a slate of comedy projects.

Working with partnerships has been key to the success of the Comedy Hot House who, among many great projects and schemes, supported and fully funded the first writers room to take place in the region with Tiger Aspect Productions, providing work for 8 comedy writers from the North East. 

David Simpson, Head of Comedy at Tiger Aspect said;

“I could not be more impressed and complimentary of the work NE Screen Comedy Hot House are doing and the incredible contribution they are making to our industry. What sets them apart isn’t just the volume and breadth of their work, it’s that what they put in place makes a real, tangible difference.”

The initiative was co-founded in 2019 by Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen and TV executive, Emma Lawson, now Commissioning Editor for BBC Comedy, as an innovative partnership between a regional screen agency and an experienced scripted comedy executive from the region, to help increase connectivity between the region’s comedy community and broadcast opportunities.

The Hot House won its first commission to deliver an order of short form content to Channel 4, with a follow up commission from BBC Comedy to provide short form comedy content for its digital platforms, while in parallel carrying out high profile outreach activity and sharing the learning and opportunities as far across the region as possible.

They quickly won international recognition at the 2020 Makers and Shakers awards where they won the award for ‘Initiative to Grow Local Industry’.

Emma Lawson, BBC Comedy Commissioner and co-founder of the Comedy Hot House said;

“The Comedy Hot House has helped to raise a flag and draw attention to the brilliant comedy talent that has always been here in the region. The team have worked hard to make sure that people are being seen, heard and consistently championed and connected up with as many meaningful opportunities in scripted comedy as possible.

So many of the companies and talent that joined us for the ride back in 2019 are now working alongside experienced executives, award winning major indies, have developments in with BBC, C4 and other broadcasters and crucially, are now working as paid professionals in the genre.

Alongside this, the outreach activity that Hot House also provides has been majorly boosted by the BBC’s presence in the region and continues to benefit many aspiring producers, writers, directors and performers who want to work in comedy. I feel proud of the meaningful change, and championing of collaboration, that the Hot House team has helped to create in the region. Long may it continue.”

The NE Screen Comedy Hot House is led by Lisa Laws, Head of Talent and Business Development at North East Screen with outreach activity coordinated and delivered by Mark Kenny, Comedy Talent Co-ordinator. Lisa added;

“Creating and enabling new ways of working in partnership, between industry, broadcasters and local authorities, has been instrumental in shining a light on the region’s lively grass roots comedy scene and championing our talent. This year’s BBC City of Comedy initiatives have unearthed fresh new voices, kickstarted new regional companies and seen us make real inroads into TV.

All of these successes are thanks to the hard work of a wide range of amazing individuals in key organisations working together to make a real difference (screen agency, local authorities, broadcasters, indies) but none of it would be possible without the incredible pool of North East talent, on and off screen, who have risen to the challenge and are definitely up for sharing their love of comedy.

It’s great to receive this award which gives us another opportunity to shout from the rooftops that the region has exciting talent who have their sights firmly set on TV.”

New opportunity for North East comedy writers

Posted on by North East Screen

We have an exciting opportunity for comedy writers who are over the age of 18 and based in the North East.

We are looking to introduce writing talent from the region to Schnoobert, a production company that aims to encourage, train, and facilitate up and coming talent in the North East.

Schnoobert productions was created by award winning stand up, actor, screenwriter and executive producer, Jason Cook. Jason’s writing and production credits include UK Gold’s highest rated show to date Murder on the Blackpool Express, Death on the Tyne, and  Dial M for Middlesbrough.

Ten writers will be invited to take part in a writer’s round table with Schnoobert to aid the development of their writing and ideas.

This opportunity is aimed at writers rather than writer/performers (we have other opportunities for writer/performers planned for 2023). Both emerging and established writers can apply for this opportunity if they would like to receive an introduction to Jason and Schnoobert.

To apply, please send:

• A brief summary of your experience to date – please specify if you have TV credits

• Three example top lines

• A three-page writing sample (formatted)

• Completed NE Screen EDI Form (download here)

Please email these over as clearly labelled pdf attachments (with your name and which attachment it is) to by midnight on Monday 23rd January. Please use “Introduction to Schnoobert” as the subject header of your email. Invitations to the writers round table will be sent out on the 20th of February.

Jason Cook, CEO of Schnoobert Productions said: “We’re really excited to be talking to new writers and hearing their ideas. It can often be nerve wracking sending something in for the first time. Will it be terrible? Is it only me that likes this? But what we are looking for are just interesting stories from creative minds, nothing is perfect when it’s in its first iteration so please just give us your most exciting ideas and we will do our best to realise them!”

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email

National media conference to be held in the North East in 2023

Posted on by North East Screen

The popular screen sector conference Creative Cities Convention will be held in the North East of England from the 26th to 27th of April, with a packed schedule of sessions and activities reflecting the boom in film, tv and digital production that’s underway across the UK.

The Creative Cities Convention (CCC) is a unique meeting place where content creators working outside London can network together and discuss the big media issues that affect them every day.

The event will take place at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle, less than five minutes’ walk from the central station and an iconic building that started life in the 1820s as the home of Robert Stephenson and Company, the world’s first locomotive works. This beautiful, listed building has ample room for the main conference of over 300 delegates along with meet-the-commissioner sessions and a marketplace for different organisations to showcase their activities, topped off with a lively evening networking party. 

There will be student masterclasses and sessions in other parts of the wider North East too, where production is soaring as the region scales up to meet record investment from organisations like the BBC, local authorities and independent companies.

The CCC team will be working in partnership with North East Screen to deliver the conference and with the North of Tyne, South of Tyne and Tess Valley Combined Authorities, who have together formed the North East Screen Industries Partnership to rise to the challenge of growing production across all genres. 

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen says ‘We are delighted to welcome the Creative Cities Convention to our region at a time when production is increasing, partnerships are strengthening and growth in the sector is becoming a reality. To be hosting a convention of this scale and stature in the North East, which attracts content creators from all parts of the UK, is a real honour and an opportunity and we can’t wait to be involved and showcase the North East as a hotbed of creativity and talent.’

‘We could not be more thrilled to take our event to the North East in 2023,’ says conference director Ruth Pitt. ‘The screen sector is growing rapidly there, and the venue is accessible to content creators from right across the UK, whether you’re in Glasgow or Belfast, Manchester or Cardiff, Brighton or Bristol. We’re extending our sessions to offer even better takeout for everyone so it’s an event not to be missed’.

Last year’s conference was a sellout success at the Fazeley Studios in Birmingham, a return to normal after two years of pandemic disruption. This year the event will be extended to offer a full afternoon of sessions and a networking party on Day One and then another full day of debate and discussion on Day Two. BBC Newsnight journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Wark will return as host.

As the Creative Cities Convention celebrates its fifth birthday in 2023 there will be something of value for producers, freelances, broadcasters, streamers and students alike. 

BBC Comedy announces brand new supercharged bursary and grant schemes

Posted on by North East Screen

BBC Comedy today (Monday 19 December) announces two brand new opportunities for comedy talent as the BBC Comedy Collective and BBC Comedy Grants are launched.

The BBC Comedy Collective has been established as a supercharged bursary scheme which will continue to celebrate the work of writers, Felix Dexter, Caroline Aherne and Galton & Simpson, plus new producer and director representatives, Ash Atalla and Christine Gernon by offering 10 places to the next generation of writers, producers and directors who would like to develop their careers in scripted comedy.

BBC Comedy will be building on the great work that the individual writing bursaries have done to date, by bringing everyone together and adding in producers and directors to form this bursary supergroup of experience in a format that allows BBC Comedy to offer more opportunity, more places, more finance, more activity and more access to an instant network of comedy experts.

The BBC Comedy Collective comprises of estate representatives, Geoff Schuman & Paul Whitehouse (for Felix Dexter), Tessa La Bars and the Galton Family (for Galton & Simpson), Lucy Ansbro (for Caroline Aherne) plus the new producer and director representatives, Ash Atalla and Christine Gernon, alongside the alumni of previous BBC bursary winners.

This is not an entry level opportunity but will be open to anyone who has had at least one previous credit in writing, producing or directing in any genre, across any platform – such as radio, theatre, podcasts, stand up or commercials. Applicants will also need to be able to demonstrate a strong passion for and commitment to comedy.

Each bursary winner will receive up to £10,000 worth of paid shadowing on a BBC Comedy production, along with an allocated production mentor, plus a £5,000 development grant to put towards new material at the end of the placement. They will also have a dedicated point of contact within the BBC Comedy Commissioning team who will help guide them through their year, as well as access to the Comedy Collective representatives.

The bursary winners will have their expenses covered to attend up to three BBC comedy events over their year on the scheme. Events next year will include the BBC Comedy Festival taking place in Cardiff in May 2023, plus short film and networking evenings across the UK, with other events to be announced in due course.

Successful applicants will also receive exclusive access to bespoke training and personal development opportunities provided by the BBC Academy, plus access to BAFTA’s tailored programme of learning and career development activity for new entrants and emerging talent.

The BBC Comedy Collective will be working in partnership with BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales, with the support of BBC Writersroom, BBC History, BBC Academy, BAFTA and a range of screen agencies including North East Screen and Creative Wales. Within the 10 places, at least 1 will be guaranteed for an individual based in Scotland, 1 in Northern Ireland, 1 in Wales and 1 in Newcastle (the 2022 City of Comedy) and BBC Comedy will actively be encouraging applications from individuals from diverse and underrepresented groups.

BBC Comedy will be looking forward to welcoming the next generation of up-and-coming comedy talent from across the UK into the BBC Comedy Collective – Class of 23.  Previous BBC Comedy bursary winners have gone on to win script commissions, get agents, produce radio shows and make a BAFTA award-winning TV series.

Alongside the bursary, also confirmed today is a brand-new BBC Comedy Grants scheme which is an opportunity to increase BBC Comedy’s engagement with companies, organisations and communities from across the UK who want to support growth and access opportunity in comedy. The grants are aimed at small organisations, groups, charities or projects which are doing targeted comedy outreach across the UK. The grants are not for individuals to develop a project, or production companies developing ideas, but exclusively for outreach and inclusion activity with comedy. There will be 10 grants of £5k available, and applications will open on Monday 9th January.

Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy at the BBC said: “BBC Comedy is renowned worldwide for finding and nurturing some of the most brilliant writers and performers working in television and film today. The BBC Comedy Collective is a commitment to help ensure this remains the case and cast the net wider to include off screen talent such as directors and producers, who are often the unsung heroes of our most cherished shows.”

Tessa Le Bars & the Galton family on behalf of Galton & Simpson said: “Galton & Simpson Estates are delighted to be part of the expanded BBC Comedy Collective now being offered from 2023, following on the great work started by the original Galton and Simpson Writers Bursary in 2020, This new suite of bursaries will provide a back to front coverage of comedy production and we hope will deliver some exciting new works  next year and beyond to ensure the continuation of the great British sit-com genre started by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson way back in the 1950s.”

Geoff Schuman on behalf of Felix Dexter said “The BBC continues to be a fantastic creative partner in continuing the legacy of several famous comedians who have sadly passed away. They have been magnificent in their efforts to supporting the works of Felix Dexter and ensuring that his abilities will be remembered for generations. The BBC remains as one of the leading creative outlets for championing equality and diversity….Long may this continue.”

Paul Whitehouse on behalf of Felix Dexter said: “The BBC is the natural home of comedy along with much else in broadcasting. But certainly it is a “brand leader” in terms of comedy. So many shows that mean so much to us would not have been created without the beeb. It continues to develop and nurture new talent and one of the more novel ways is through the bursary system.”

Lucy Ansbro on behalf of Caroline Aherne: “Caroline Aherne’s Estate is honoured to stand alongside the powerhouse of creative talents that forms the new BBC Comedy Collective. The Corporation has always been front and centre when it comes to nurturing comedy talent from all walks of life and long may it continue. The Caroline Aherne Bursary was established by the BBC to foster a new generation of female performers in the North, so to be part of the expansion project means even more opportunity for those who reflect modern Britain to be heard.”

Ash Atalla said: “When the BBC asked me to be the producer representative, I laughed. What could a 6 times BAFTA winner be able to teach anyone? They talked me round and Im now genuinely delighted to part of the Comedy Top Gun Academy. I look forward to working with the best of the best”

Christine Gernon said: “The BBC is perhaps the greatest of our institutions and its history of nurturing and growing world class players is unrivalled.  This scheme offers so much for the future of our industry and I’m delighted and honoured to be contributing. I owe my career to the BBC who recognised, trained and guided me so it’s a privilege to work alongside the BBC comedy team recognising, training and guiding the next generation of Comedy directors.”

Emma Lawson, Commissioning Editor, BBC Comedy and Initiative Lead said: “Having partaken in a scheme like this myself I know how important and transformative they are to people making their way in the industry. They are also incredibly important to us as broadcasters to make sure we have exciting pathways that allow us to forge relationships with the best up-and-coming comedy talent from around the country, to ensure we have the best people in our stable so we’re able to continue the BBC legacy of producing the best, globally renowned, comedy programming out there.”

More information on the scheme and how to apply will be available via  and applications open on Monday 9th January 2023.

New funded development opportunity

Posted on by North East Screen
North East Screen announce a new funded development opportunity for North East based comedy talent, plus a BBC Comedy event in Newcastle.

An exciting opportunity is being offered to comedy writers, performers, producers and directors by North East Screen and BBC Comedy to develop talent in the region.

The NE Screen Comedy Hot House have devised a scheme that offers funds to six comedy creatives to help them develop their television ideas. Each chosen creator will receive £1000 as well as development support and an introduction to production companies, ahead of pitching their ideas to BBC Comedy for feedback.

Lisa Laws, Head of Talent and Professional Development at North East Screen said;

“This is a first of its kind opportunity for North East comedy creators ready to burst onto comedy platforms. We are looking to champion six people and support them to get their ideas ready to pitch to the BBC.”

For more information and to apply for the fund click here

To support and inspire applications to the funded development opportunity, the NE Screen Comedy Hot House will be hosting Cracking the Comedy Codes – a day of panels featuring comedy industry experts.

The event on Thursday 13th October with industry experts, will centre discussions around short films, audio, and the development of comedy characters for screen. Featured guests include Simon Mayhew-Archer (This Country), Rupert Majendie (Brian and Charles, Pls Like), Kirk Flash (This is Gay), Julia McKenzie (BBC Radio4 Comedy Commissioner) and more!

Cracking the Comedy Codes ( will take place at the Stand, Newcastle 1-5pm where you will also have the chance to meet some of the BBC Comedy commissioning team.

BBC City of Comedy 2022

As part of Newcastle’s tenure as the first BBC City of Comedy, the region hosted the first ever BBC Comedy Festival, bringing the entire UK comedy production sector to the North East. At the event we announced our flagship Regional Partnership Scheme, fast tracking regional company Sea & Sky Productions to co-develop a slate of TV series ideas for BBC Comedy with Hat Trick Productions. The creator development fund is part of a wider range of engaging outreach events, profiling some of the UKs best talent, ensuring our comedy community is inspired and enabling our regions comedy scene to thrive.