We champion, connect and develop the region’s best comedy talent by creating outstanding opportunities with industry partners. We want to bring the comedy community in the North East together, to encourage creativity, partnership working and sharing of knowledge and networks.
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. 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.
Newcastle was the very first BBC City of Comedy and hosted the BBC’s first Comedy Festival for indie producers, people with a new career in TV and comedy, and people looking to break into or advance 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
At the festival BBC Comedy announced 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.
Sea & Sky Pictures in Hartlepool were chosen as the company to be paired with Hat Trick Production in a partnership that will see the companies co-develop a slate of original ideas over 6 months to help strengthen and enhance the local talent and creating new connects and opportunities.
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. Read more 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. Read more details here.
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.
The BBC’s Small Indie Fund was awarded to six North East production companies in January. Read here to find out more.
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.
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).
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.
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.