BBC Comedy, in collaboration with Creative Wales, is embarking on its second Regional Partnership Scheme, aimed at bolstering local talent and project development in the region. Expectation, an established comedy supplier, has been chosen to work with an emerging independent production company based in Wales to co-develop a slate of original comedy projects. The partnership aims to showcase and support Welsh talent in both on-screen and off-screen roles within BBC Comedy’s lineup.
Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy Commissioning, expressed his delight at the launch of another Regional Partnership scheme, following the success of the previous year’s initiative in the North East. Petrie eagerly anticipates the creative results that will arise from the collaboration between Expectation and the emerging indie based in Wales. He extended his gratitude to Creative Wales for their unwavering support throughout the process.
Emma Lawson, BBC Commissioning Editor, echoed Petrie’s sentiments and shared her excitement about the partnership with the Welsh comedy production community. Drawing inspiration from last year’s fruitful partnership in the North East, Lawson expressed her anticipation for the fresh and innovative developments that will emerge through this scheme, with the backing of Expectation and Creative Wales.
Nerys Evans, Creative Director of Scripted at Expectation, conveyed her enthusiasm about the partnership scheme. She emphasised Expectation’s dedication to nurturing talent and providing opportunities to individuals seeking their breakthroughs in television narrative. As a proud Welsh native, Evans recognises the untapped potential in Wales, both in front of and behind the camera. She eagerly awaits the opportunity to share Expectation’s collective experience and insight with local producers, with the ultimate goal of showcasing exceptional Welsh talent on their home ground.
Gerwyn Evans, Deputy Director of Creative Wales, highlighted the growth and maturity of the comedy scene in Wales. Evans praised the recognition of the Welsh capital as the BBC’s latest City of Comedy, citing the presence of remarkable comedic talent in the region. With the Regional Partnership Scheme serving as a catalyst, Creative Wales aims to nurture this talent and create opportunities through collaborative efforts. Evans expressed excitement for the outcomes of the project, confident that local comedy talent will receive the recognition it deserves.
This initiative follows the resounding success of the inaugural Regional Partnership Scheme in 2022, which saw Hat Trick Productions chosen as the established comedy supplier, working alongside an emerging independent production company in the North East of England, Sea & Sky Pictures. Hat Trick provided mentorship, business support, and project development to the selected indie, resulting in character development funding and a script commission.
Adam Bouabda, Company Director & Executive Producer at Sea & Sky Pictures, commended the partnership, describing it as a transformative experience for him and his company. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to observe the inner workings and structure of a large indie company, which has provided invaluable insights for the growth of Sea & Sky Pictures. Bouabda praised the collaboration with the Hat Trick team, acknowledging the knowledge and wisdom they shared. He anticipates that their joint efforts will soon bring the exceptional talent they are working with to screens worldwide.
The details of this year’s Regional Partnership Scheme were unveiled during the United Nations of Comedy panel at the BBC Comedy Festival, held in Cardiff.