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The award winning North East Screen Comedy Hot House is a first-of-its kind comedy cooperative nurturing regional talent, both on and off screen, co-founded by scripted comedy executive Emma Lawson and our chief executive Alison Gwynn.

We champion, connect and develop the region’s best comedy talent by creating outstanding opportunities with industry partners.

There has never been a better time to be in the North East if you’re someone who is wishing to progress in TV comedy. We hope you’ve seen by the BBC City of Comedy and the BBC Comedy Festival held in Newcastle in May that the BBC are committed to supporting North East Screen and our Hot House team to support the next wave of comedy talent and regional production companies on their journey to make broadcast-ready productions. We want to bring the comedy community in the North East together, to encourage creativity, partnership working and sharing of knowledge and networks.

New – Creator Development Fund

We are delighted to offer a new Creator Development Fund for comedy creators (writers/performers/directors) in the North East. We have secured six BBC commissioner pitching slots for regional talent. Any creators looking to pitch their original ideas can apply for the Development Fund. This is a first of its kind opportunity and will include the following;

  • Up to £1000 directly from the BBC
  • Development support
  • An introduction to production companies
  • Feedback provided from a BBC Comedy commissioner
  • Next steps support

We are looking to champion six local people and work with you to provide one-to-one support and help get your ideas ready to pitch to the BBC.

We want to find people with funny characters and authentic voices or stories to share, people with a real passion for TV comedy. We need people with the enthusiasm, energy and drive to grab the attention of people in and outside of the region so our stories can be heard. We would love to discover the next comedy gem so if you’re excited by this opportunity and have characters to be discovered please apply.

The deadline for the Creator Development Fund is midnight on the 20th of November 2022.

To apply for the Creator Development Fund click here

To find out more information and really explore what makes a great comedy podcast, character or short film, make sure you make it to the NE Screen Comedy Hot House Cracking the Codes day on 13th October, at which the content is heavily linked to the Creators Development Fund. For more details, click here.

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BBC City of Comedy – Newcastle

 

Newcastle, the first BBC City of Comedy, hosted the BBC’s first Comedy Festival for indie producers, anyone with a new career in TV and comedy, and people looking to break into or advance their career in the industry.

A series of events took place across three days to explore, reflect on and celebrate comedy in the UK.

Some of the biggest comedy names attended including Charlie Brooker, Greg Davies, Jamie Demetriou, Megan Ganz, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Romesh Ranganathan, Stephen Merchant, Tim Renkow, Kat Sadler, Adjani Salmon, and Holly Walsh – plus the casts of BBC hits – Ghosts and The Outlaws.

Talent-led talks, panels, screenings, a short film night, live comedy, and the premier of The Outlaws series 2 all took place at the Northern Stage in Newcastle.

BBC Director of Comedy, Jon Petrie, opened the festival, setting out his vision for BBC Comedy and highlighting commissioning opportunities to the comedy production community.

Regional Partnership Scheme

BBC Comedy also announced that they will be piloting a brand-new Regional Partnership Scheme, co-funded with North East Screen, pairing a North East based emerging indie with a leading BBC Comedy supplier.

The aim of the scheme is to promote regional partnerships, aid portrayal and support the growth of indigenous scripted comedy supplies in an underserved and underrepresented region.

The partnership will see the companies co-develop a slate of original ideas over an initial 6-month period, to help strengthen and enhance the local talent and project development on the ground, while creating new connections and out of London opportunities.

Sea & Sky Pictures have been announced as the partner to Hat Trick. Read the full details here.

The North East Regional Partnership Scheme is part of the BBC’s commitment to making its biggest investment in the North East of England for decades as part of a new partnership with the region.

The BBC last year announced it will spend at least £25m over the next five years right across the North East to fund network TV production, talent development and support for the creative sector.

BBC Opportunities

BBC Comedy have opened up new pipelines for production companies to develop scripted comedy and we would love North East talent to get some! BBC Commissioning briefs and current opportunities can be found here.

Submit all pitches here.

Find out about their characters, narrative shorts and podcasts in October when we will be hosting a panel to find out more about what the BBC are looking for and how Hot House can support you to pull together a pitch. Keep an eye on our socials and sign up to our mailing list by emailing us to hear more.

The BBC’s Small Indie Fund is now open for applications. The closing date is 24th October 2022. The Fund aims to back talented small independent production companies with a special focus on diverse-led companies and those based in the Nations and English regions.  Check out full details here.

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Sea & Sky Pictures
Adam Bouabda

Sea & Sky Pictures based in Hartlepool is a small indie formed in 2020 by Adam Bouabda. The company has produced scripted comedy, BFI funded short films, online content for commercial clients and its first feature film. They are developing and pitching several sitcoms and factual entertainment programmes to major broadcasters and streamers and have grown as an organisation thanks to recent funding.

Sea & Sky Pictures

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Candle & Bell
Maria Caruana Galizia

Candle & Bell was formed in 2013 and in 2017, Candle & Bell was named one of the Top 50 Emerging Creative Companies, by Creative England. The company produces commercial and online content for cultural institutions and festivals, as well as developing a slate of ambitious and original films. alongside producing branded content for commercials, Candle & Bell is developing a slate of feature films including “Marwell” by Benjamin Bee (supported by Venice Biennale Cinema College and The BFI), “Soon We Will All Be History Here” by Saeed Taji Farouky (Supported by Jordan Film Fund and Torino Script Lab 2021), “Man at the Window” by Lucy Rose (supported by Edinburgh Talent Lab Connects).

Candle & Bell

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Schnoobert Productions
Jason Cook

Schnoobert Productions was recently founded by Jason Cook, stand up, actor, screenwriter and executive producer. The company is partnership focused and was formed to give other North East writers, performers, producers, directors and other creatives an outlet. They are developing drama and comedy ideas and creating passionate, authentic characters to tell relatable and compelling stories.

Schnoobert Productions

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Nova Mundi
Marc de Launay and Daniel-John Williams

Nova Mundi are a Teesside based production company with a passion to get Northern voices heard and Northern creatives into work. Nova Mundi directors Marc de Launay and Daniel-John Williams are a small, dedicated team with years of experience.

“We are passionate about nurturing emerging talent whilst raising the profiles of established talent in the North so we can build a community to develop ideas with a global reach.”

Nova Mundi are working on a slate of scripted and unscripted comedy, drama and documentary, factual entertainment programmes for television and film, including Pigeon Men, a feature length long form documentary about racing pigeons. Nova Mundi will soon be working for the Mayor of London Creative Industries as the Northern Hub for a new scheme ‘Mayor of London Academies’ to help youngsters find a career in the television, film and theatre industry. 

Nova Mundi Studios

Meet our North East Comedy Hot House Team

Comedy Hot House Team

Emma Lawson
Scripted Comedy Executive & Co Founder of North East Comedy Hot House

Originating from the County Durham, Emma worked her way through the ranks on many hours of scripted comedy with major indies including Objective (Peep Show, Star Stories), Fremantle (Count Arthur Strong) and Roughcut TV, where she stayed for 10 years working with Ash Atalla on projects including five series of Cuckoo (BBC Three) and People Just Do Nothing (BBC Three). Emma went on to produce Trying, the first scripted comedy for Apple TV+, which led to an in-house commissioning role working under Jay Hunt. Since leaving Apple she has originated a new comedy series for Sky One, worked as a development executive for Universal Music’s global scripted arm, and set up regional development initiative North East Comedy Hot House, before joining the BBC Comedy commissioning team in January 2022.

Lisa Laws
Head of Talent and Professional Development
Lisa began working as an assistant film editor and script supervisor on Channel 4 shorts and features before going on to Assitant Director on HETV and features including Elizabeth, Eugine Onegan, The Four Feathers, Troy and The One and Only. Lisa joined the regional development agency as Talent and Professional Development Manager, leaving to produce the Northern Lights Film Festival, celebrating mischief makers and providing a platform and commissions for award winning international talent, working across genres and art forms, to have fun together.

Lisa now oversees the development and delivery of North East Comedy Hot House, working alongside industry partners to champion and provide opportunities for northern comedic talent that aims to reach and entertain global audiences with outstanding content.

Mark Kenny
Comedy Talent Development Coordinator
Mark is our coordinator and is a logic-minded guy who can make things happen. He loves, lives and breathes comedy and can be found at stand-up gigs, producing sketches and developing comedy ideas. Mark’s personal taste in comedy leans to the cheeky side – the 11pm or later slot – the likes of Monty Python; Aunty Donna; Airplane and The Naked Gun; The Eric Andre Show and The Mighty Boosh.

Mark genuinely cares about championing and growing comedy in the region and likes to have a laugh along the way. Please get in touch with Mark and let him know what you are up to and what you need. He’s always happy to chat.

If you have any queries or would like to get in touch with the team email hothouse@northeastscreen.org

 

Hot House News
New funded development opportunity
3rd October 2022
New funded development opportunity
Learn more