The BBC Comedy Collective Bursary (opens 9 January)

The scheme is open to anyone who has had at least one previous credit in writing, producing or directing in any genre, across any platform – such as radio, theatre, podcasts, stand up or commercials. The aim is to develop the best up-and-coming talent into the comedy space, so applicants will also need to demonstrate a clear commitment to comedy.

Each bursary winner will receive up to £10k worth of paid shadowing on a BBC Comedy production, along with an allocated production mentor, plus a £5k development grant to put towards new material at the end of their placement. They will also have a dedicated point of contact within the BBC Comedy Commissioning team to help guide them through their year, as well as access to the Comedy Collective representatives.

In addition, the bursary winners will have their expenses covered to attend up to three BBC Comedy events over their year on the scheme. Events next year will include the BBC Comedy Festival in May, plus short film and networking evenings across the country, with other events to be announced in due course.

At least one place will be ringfenced for an individual based in Scotland, one from Northern Ireland, one from Wales and one from Newcastle (the 2022 City of Comedy). BBC Comedy are actively encouraging individuals from diverse and under-represented groups to apply.

The Comedy Collective Bursary combines the leadership and expertise of representatives from the previous bursary schemes – Felix Dexter, Caroline Aherne and Galton and Simpson – who will be joined by new producer and director representatives: BBC comedy veterans Ash Atalla and Christine Gernon. Bursary winners will therefore benefit from the support and guidance of Ash and Christine, along with Geoff Schuman, Paul Whitehouse, Lucy Ansbro, Tessa La Bars and the Galton Family. They, together with the alumni of the previous schemes and the winners of the new bursaries, will form the BBC Comedy Collective.

To support the BBC Comedy Collective, BBC Comedy will work in close association with BBC NI, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales, with the support of BBC Writersroom, BBC Academy, BBC History and a range of screen agencies including BAFTA, North East Screen and Creative Wales.

BBC Comedy are looking forward to welcoming the next generation of up-and-coming comedy talent from across the UK into the BBC Comedy Collective Class of ‘23. Previous BBC Comedy bursary winners have gone on to win script commissions, get agents, produce radio shows and make BAFTA award-winning TV series.

Criteria for entry

The bursaries are open to anyone over 18 who is based in the UK and looking to further their career in writing, producing or directing for scripted comedy.

Applicants must have one previous credit in their chosen field. This can be across any genre, not just comedy, and any platform. They don’t have to be TV credits, although these are welcomed. For example, you could have written, produced or directed theatre, radio, or podcasts, directed music videos, produced comedy nights or written for commercials. Applicants don’t have to have representation, but this is also welcomed.

Applications are welcomed from under-represented groups, and BBC Comedy are actively targeting people from all corners of the UK.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate a commitment to their chosen field and a commitment to comedy.

How to apply

Submissions will be open between Monday 9 January and Monday 30 January at 5pm.

Applications will be taken online via the BBC Writersroom E-submissions system.

All applicants will be required to:

  • Upload a CV as a pdf.
  • Complete a personal statement of up to 500 words. This is an opportunity to tell us more about themselves, their passion for and commitment to comedy, and their reasons for applying to be part of the BBC Comedy Collective.
  • If applicable, add the details of their agent.

Depending on their discipline, applicants will also be asked to submit the following:

Writers: A minimum of 20 pages of their writing as a pdf of no more than 10mb in size

Producers: A more detailed account of their producing experience to date. For example, details of shows, recordings, events, podcasts etc that they may have produced.

Directors: A link to a showreel or extract of their work, of no more than 10 minutes in duration.

There is also an additional space for notes, to provide any extra information needed to support the application.

A link to the BBC Writersroom’s E-submissions system will be available on this page when the application window opens together with a link to the full Terms & Conditions of Entry and Privacy Notice. If you have entered any previous BBC Writersroom opportunity, then please use your existing login details. Otherwise you will need to create an E-submissions account as part of the submission process. Please note that this is a separate account from BBC ID (used for BBC iPlayer etc).

Do you have any questions? Email

Deadline: 30 January 2023 (submissions open 9 January 2023)

Source: BBC Writersroom

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