BBC Director of Comedy Jon Petrie has revealed the 10 talented individuals who will benefit from the BBC Comedy Collective, a dynamic bursary scheme aimed at up-and-coming writers, producers, and directors in the field of scripted comedy. The scheme seeks to empower and support the next generation of comedy talent by providing them with valuable opportunities to further their careers.
The BBC Comedy Collective has a proven track record of nurturing talent, with previous bursary winners going on to create BAFTA award-winning television series, securing script commissions, finding representation, and producing successful radio shows. This year’s recipients can expect a similar trajectory in their comedy journeys.
Speaking at the BBC Comedy Festival in Cardiff, Jon Petrie expressed his enthusiasm for supporting emerging talent, saying, “Some of the best writers, producers, and directors in the TV and film industry started their careers on BBC Comedy shows, and we are dedicated to giving the next generation their big breaks. The BBC Comedy Collective will offer invaluable support and incredible opportunities to our first cohort. I am eager to witness their future accomplishments.”
Each bursary winner will receive up to £10,000 in paid shadowing experience on a BBC Comedy production, along with an assigned production mentor. Additionally, they will be granted a £5,000 development grant to invest in new material at the end of their placement. Throughout the year, they will have a dedicated contact within the BBC Comedy Commissioning team who will guide them on their journey. They will also have access to the Comedy Collective representatives.
The BBC Comedy Collective comprises a team of industry professionals, including estate representatives Geoff Schuman and Paul Whitehouse (representing Felix Dexter), Tessa Le Bars and the Galton Family (representing Galton & Simpson), Lucy Ansbro (representing Caroline Aherne), and the new producer and director representatives Ash Atalla and Christine Gernon. The collective also includes alumni from previous BBC bursary winners.
In a collaborative effort, the BBC Comedy Collective will partner with BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Scotland, and BBC Wales, receiving support from BBC Writersroom, BBC History, BBC Academy, BAFTA, and various screen agencies, such as North East Screen and Creative Wales.
The 2023 cohort includes Atlanta Green, Benjamin Bee, Chloe Brown, Eleri Morgan, Laith Elzubaidi, Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney, Miranda Holms, Nosa Eke, Rachel Wilson, and Sarah Grant. These talented individuals come from diverse backgrounds and bring unique perspectives to their comedy writing, producing, and directing.
The recipients have already demonstrated their skills and potential through previous commissions, productions, and awards. Their work spans various mediums, from TV and radio to film and theater. They have explored themes such as diverse stories, dysfunctional relationships, mental health, and social issues, while infusing humor into their work.
The BBC Comedy Collective is poised to provide these emerging talents with invaluable opportunities to learn, grow, and make their mark in the comedy industry. With the guidance of experienced mentors and access to BBC resources, the bursary winners will have the platform and support needed to further develop their careers and create exceptional comedic content.
As the Comedy Collective continues to champion the next generation of comedy talent, it remains dedicated to fostering inclusivity, regional representation, and the exploration of diverse narratives. The future looks bright for these 10 recipients as they embark on an exciting journey within the BBC Comedy Collective, and the industry eagerly awaits their fresh and innovative contributions to the world of scripted comedy.