A novel comedy artist development initiative is set to launch in Wales through a collaborative effort between Channel 4, S4C, and Little Wander. The objective is to identify and nurture new talent in the realm of comedy.

These three organizations have joined forces to establish a scheme specifically tailored for emerging comedic talent hailing from or based in Wales. The initiative aims to provide avenues for career development and pave the way for potential creative commissions down the line.

Selected writers and performers will be paired with mentors to collaboratively work on comedic pieces. These creations will then be showcased to commissioners from Channel 4 and S4C during the Machynlleth and Aberystwyth Comedy Festivals in 2024.

This program offers artists paid development time, professional mentorship, industry masterclasses, and opportunities to enhance their understanding and experience within the comedy sector.

Participants will have the flexibility to develop content within the narrative comedy genre, crafting new material and characters that could serve as the foundation for future full-fledged narrative TV series collaborations with the two broadcasters. S4C is also open to applications from those interested in exploring other forms of comedic performance.

Six individuals will be selected for the program, with at least half of them operating in the Welsh language. The chosen artists are anticipated to be at various stages in their careers, and the program is committed to tailoring its approach to meet the unique needs of each participant. At least half of the participants will primarily work in Welsh. While individuals can prepare material in both languages for presentation to different broadcasters, they must designate a primary language and broadcaster in their application. Assistance is available for new Welsh speakers, learners, and those with limited prior experience performing in Welsh.

Charlie Perkins, Channel 4 Head of Comedy: “Channel 4 Comedy reflects the UK back at itself in a contemporary way so supporting the live comedy industry is key to the success of that. Having been to the Machynlleth and Aberystwyth Comedy Festivals across the last 12 years I’ve seen incredible Welsh comedy talent nurtured, supported, and thriving- more so now than ever. We’re grateful to S4C for their creative partnership and can’t wait to see what the mighty Little Wander develop.”

Guto Rhun, S4C Young Audiences Commissioner: “S4C are pleased to support this opportunity to develop comedy talent here in Wales. It will ensure that we can back new talent, nurture their ideas and give them the chance to shine on a prominent platform within the industry. Welsh language comedy has come a long way over the last few years, with S4C’s online first strand Hansh at the forefront when it comes to providing opportunities for new talent.”

Henry Widdicombe, Little Wander Company Director: “We’re thrilled to be working with two major broadcasters to further shine a light on the burgeoning comedy talent coming out of Wales right now. This is such a great opportunity for Welsh and Wales based talent and we can’t wait to work with the successful applicants.”

Applications are welcome from individuals, duos, or groups, with the stipulation that applicants must be Welsh or based in Wales and be 18 years or older. For artists predominantly working in English, Channel 4 will only consider applications from those without prior major broadcaster commissions. For Welsh-speaking artists (S4C), applications are accepted from emerging artists and those with a previous commission from S4C. Further details on the application process can be found at https://www.s4c.cymru/en/take-part/.