British Comedy Guide

The Covid Sessions

The Covid Sessions

What is The Covid Sessions?

The Covid Sessions is a brand new initiative to help keep comics occupied and accessible to the public.

We're asking for you, as brilliantly funny creatives, to submit video clips that we can package into showcase programmes and share with the world: keeping your funny bone exercised, creating a new publicly-accessible platform for you to exhibit your talent, reach new audiences, and hopefully earning some money, whilst the traditional live circuit remains closed.

Covid. Comedy videos. Geddit?

Duration and regularity of the compiled programmes will depend on the volume of submissions, but we hope we can publish at least two 10-20 minute-long episodes each week.


What do we want?

  • Individual clips, of no more than 2 minutes in duration each (and often the shorter the better).
  • Clips can be old or new; bespoke for coronavirus, trial material, or part of your tried-and-tested existing act.
  • We welcome songs, sketches, one-liners, stand-up routine excerpts, silly stories, or anything else you deem funny.
  • Feel free to self-film at home.
  • We prefer new and exclusive clips, but they can be things you've already shared online.

We can accept lower quality existing material, but please film new content in full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. Widescreen, landscape content is preferred.


What we don't want

  • Anything you wouldn't normally be able to get away with: the obviously illegal, defamatory, or abusive.
  • Anything you don't own the copyright to.
  • Anything commenting on the Government's handling of the outbreak. We know tensions here are high, but we hope The Covid Sessions will be warm, celebratory, and above all, escapist: not stoking more anxiety or anger about the pandemic.
  • Submissions from the general public. The initiative is intended to support the creative comedy community who are currently struggling for work and exposure.
  • Scripts. We don't have facilities to produce anything ourselves at this time.

Who can submit?

Anyone who works as a comedian, whatever your level of fame. We hope to include a mixture of star names and lesser-known acts in the shows.


What's in it for you?

As a first stage, we just want to support the comedy community and help comedians to get the exposure you're currently being starved of. We understand the importance of creating and maintaining a fan base so you can reach people once those theatres and clubs are welcoming audiences again.

We cannot provide payment as the project launches, but - particularly if it grows in popularity - we will be looking at crowdfunding and sponsorship for The Covid Sessions, in order to reward you for your material and support you at what we know is a very difficult and uncertain time.

Should monies become available, we'll back-pay to the first episode, distributing funds based on the amount of your content we've used.


How to submit

Sound good? On board? Great. Do begin filming at your earliest convenience!

Once you've got a video you're happy with, upload the file to a service like Google Drive, Dropbox or WeTransfer (switch to 'Get transfer link' rather than email mode), and hit the button below to send us the link. We'll need all on-screen and any writing and production credits you'd like included.

By submitting any material for consideration for inclusion in The Covid Sessions you give British Comedy Guide non-exclusive rights to edit, publish and use your work as it deems necessary, in perpetuity.

Finally, like everything else around Covid-19 please note this is all very much an unknown, and we cannot promise that all submissions will be included; we will, however, endeavour to represent as many different people and comedy styles as possible.

Submit video


Background

British Comedy Guide was founded in the early 2000s by two ordinary fans, keen to share their love of British comedy. (We're Aaron and Mark, by the way. Hello! ) Expanding gradually in the near-20 years since, we have gone from curating detail about brilliant TV sitcoms to celebrating and promoting all forms of comedy, from films to stand-up, independently-produced sketches, and everything in between.

With the unprecedented challenge that the worldwide Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has now put the live industry in particular up against, we wanted to do what we can to help.

We're not millionaires - likely earning less than all but the very newest club comedian - and so can't directly subsidise those performers who now find themselves out of work, with gigs and entire tours cancelled, or at very least suspsended, until further notice. But we do have the British Comedy Guide platform, reaching more than 600,000 users every calendar month.


Who's involved?

The Covid Sessions is being produced by British Comedy Guide with the very kind assistance of freelance producer Gina Lyons.