Where’s the next Peter Kay?

Anna Thomas, winner of the 2021 BBC New Comedian Award
Anna Thomas, winner of the 2021 BBC New Comedian Award

The BBC’s biggest comedy talent search is back! In our quest to unearth the comedy stars of the future across stand-up and digital we’re looking for entries for the 2022 BBC New Comedy Awards, returning in Autumn 2022. This year’s winner could be you!

The search is underway to find the best new stand-up and digital comedians in the UK. Entries open at 10am today (Monday 23 May) for the New Comedy Awards – details can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/newcomedyawards. Those selected from the entry process will then compete in six regional heats to be televised on BBC Three and iPlayer this autumn, followed by the Grand Final which will be screened on BBC One and iPlayer.

The prestigious New Comedy Awards, first established in 1995, have helped to launch and build the careers of some of Britain’s most loved comedians including Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Nina Conti, Russell Howard, Sindhu Vee, Alan Carr, Sarah Millican, Romesh Ranganathan, Josie Long and Joe Lycett to name just a few.

Jon Petrie, BBC Director of Comedy, says: “BBC Comedy is the unrivalled home of new comedy talent and we are very proud of the role that the BBC New Comedy Awards plays in unearthing the British comedy stars of tomorrow.”

Anna Thomas, winner of the 2021 BBC New Comedian Award, says: “Winning the BBC New Comedian of the Year last year has already changed my life – I’ve been signed to a cracking agent, I’ve been lucky enough to sell out at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, appeared on radio and TV panel and stand-up shows, and have supported Russell Howard and Joe Lycett. I’ve just performed at the BBC Comedy Festival in Newcastle, and I’m proper looking forward to performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer. I’m telling you now, if you’re umming and ahhing about applying to this year’s awards, just blooming go for it.”

This year, the BBC are looking for entrants in two categories:

BBC New Comedian Award

The winner will receive a paid commission to write and perform in a 30-minute audio pilot under the mentorship of a BBC Comedy Commissioner, plus a trophy and £1,000 cash.

BBC Digital Comedy Award

The winner will receive a paid commission for a BBC Comedy digital short, plus a trophy.

The awards will hold their heats in the following locations in September:

  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales and West of England
  • North of England
  • Midlands
  • South of England

Head Judge Fern Brady will be joined in each of these locations by a different host and panel of judges from these local areas including Rosie Jones, Lauren Pattison, Johnny Pelham, Thaniya Moore, Suzi Ruffell, Babatunde Aleshe, Kai Samra, Jayde Adams, Catherine Bohart, Shane Todd and Alison Spittle.

There’s still plenty of time to apply for the BBC New Comedy Awards as the closing date is not until Sunday 3rd July at 23:59.

To enter visit www.bbc.co.uk/newcomedyawards, where terms and privacy notices can also be found.

The final and all six of the televised heats from the 2021 series are available to watch on BBC iPlayer

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