The BBC Comedy Festival is making its return for the third time, with Glasgow set to play host in May 2024.
The festival provides a platform for both established and up-and-coming producers in the TV industry to come together and reflect on, celebrate, and explore comedy in the UK. It will mark the beginning of a year filled with development and production opportunities in the nation, supported by Screen Scotland.
Building on the successes of the past two years in Cardiff and Newcastle, the BBC Comedy Festival in Glasgow will bring together various facets of the comedy industry, offering a series of talks, panels, screenings, a short film night, and live comedy shows led by talented individuals.
Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy at the BBC says: “We’re delighted to be bringing the BBC Comedy Festival 2024, to Glasgow; a city steeped in a rich comedy history. We look forward to continuing to build the Festival’s reputation for celebrating our unique industry by showcasing some of the finest comedy minds working in the UK today and shining a spotlight on Scottish talent.”
David Smith, Director of Screen at Screen Scotland says: “We are thrilled to see the BBC Comedy Festival coming to Glasgow. Over the past couple of years, we have been delighted to partner with BBC Comedy to offer additional opportunities for comedy talent through character sketches, comedy shorts and a high-end pilot. This festival offers another chance for Scottish writers and performers to showcase their talent as well gaining valuable insight into building successful careers in TV.”
The BBC Comedy Festival 2023 took place in Cardiff, featuring 19 sold-out panels and masterclasses over two days. Over 70 comedy luminaries graced the stage, including Jesse Armstrong, Sharon Horgan, Rob Brydon, Diane Morgan, Guz Khan, Kayleigh Llewellyn, Jamie Demetriou, and Peter Baynham. The event received support from Creative Wales, with over 5700 tickets available for industry professionals, and over 2500 tickets accessible to those just starting out in the industry, students, as well as the general public.
Since the inaugural BBC Comedy Festival in Newcastle in May 2022, there has been a surge of development in the region. This includes the establishment of two Small Indie Fund production companies, a pilot filmed in Middlesbrough, a short film conceived and filmed in Newcastle, two funded character developments, seven script developments spanning the region, and a script development for Radio 4.
As part of the programming in Wales, BBC Comedy collaborated with Expectation and Creative Wales on a Regional Partnership Scheme. This initiative offers an emerging indie based in Wales the opportunity to co-develop a slate of original comedy projects with the established comedy producer, Expectation, over a six-month period. Further details about this partnership will be released in due course.