British Comedy Guide Newsletter
Make It Newsletter Saturday 23rd December 2017
For a lot of people, it's the start of a week-long break from work now. A prime time to return to that comedy project you've been meaning to finish for a while? With that in mind, here's our latest update for writers, producers and performers.
How to write and tell a Christmas Cracker joke How to write a Christmas Cracker joke

Congratulations to the BCG subscribers who made it on to Gold's top Cracker Jokes 2017 list. We recognised a number of our members amongst the winners!

There's still time to write some festive gags to make your family, friends and social media followers groan. Lecturers from Bath Spa University (who are launching a degree in Comedy!) explain in this light-hearted article how to write a good festive gag, and how to deliver your seasonal one-liner. Read
BBC Wales BBC Wales launches comedy writers scheme

BBC Wales has launched a new initiative to find up to three new comedy programmes for BBC One Wales and BBC iPlayer. Writers are being asked to submit scripts by the 15th January 2018. Details
Go Jetters Script Editor job

If you're a Script Editor, the BBC is looking to hire someone to oversee the next series of hit CBeebies animated sitcom Go Jetters. The deadline to apply is the 7th January. Details
Funny Women Funny Women writing award

The deadline to enter the Funny Women New Comedy Writing Talent award is the 31st December 2017. Entry is free, although the title gives a clue what gender you need to be. Details
Laughing Horse Laughing Horse New Act of the Year 2018

The application form is now live for the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year 2018. There's heats in London, Brighton and Edinburgh between January and August. Details
Radio 4 New Multi-Cultural Comedy Sketch Show on Radio 4

The BBC has pointed out "currently voices from diverse backgrounds are not coming through in number via sketch comedy". They've now commissioned a new sketch show to try and help. The programme is currently recruiting writers. Details
Comedy Crowd TV Comedy Crowd TV

The Comedy Crowd website is aiming to launch an online channel to fund and showcase new sketch and sitcom content. There's a video on their website explaining more: View
Detectorists Detectorists scripts

We hope that, like us, you're a big fan of Detectorists. Now you can see what the show looks like written down on the page, as the BBC has made all the scripts available. Check out how Mackenzie Crook weaves his subtle humour into the shooting scripts - brilliant. Download
Motherland Writing Motherland

Last month Holly Walsh answered some questions on how they wrote the Motherland series, including how the team of four writers organised themselves. Read
Microphone Stand-up writing and performing advice

Here's an article from The Guardian in which Stephen Rosenfield from the American Comedy Institute gives his tips on writing and performing stand-up comedy. He says "Format, not content, is key." Read
James Cary James Cary blog

'5 ways to get your characters talking' is the latest topic James Cary has posted to his advice-packed blog. It's about how you develop your sitcom characters and get to know who they are. Read
Gus Beattie Producer interview: Gus Beattie

Here's an interview with producer Gus Beattie. He's actually the man behind the Radio 4 multi-cultural sketch show mentioned above. Worth getting to know more about him and how he works. Read
Edinburgh Fringe Pick your Edinburgh Fringe title

Believe it or not, if you're planning to perform at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival, it's already time to start planning for August. We'll have lots more guidance on the festival next year, but your first job is to pick a show title. We can't stress how important it is to get this right - it can make a difference between a half-empty room and a queue. John Fleming offers some great advice on his blog: Read
Sitcom Mission Plan your sitcom script entry

If you're working on a sitcom script, two key places to submit it are the BBC Script Room and the Sitcom Mission competition. Neither are open for entry right at the moment, but they return next year. We suggest you start reading the guidelines now, to make sure you're working your script to fit the format they're looking for (e.g. Sitcom Mission wants a 15 minute show, not 30!). If you're serious about winning, you need to go through many more drafts (see below) before you're ready to submit, so it's good to plan ahead.
John Cleese Spend more time on your scripts

Fawlty Towers is undisputedly one of the best sitcoms ever written. Just think about how tightly woven those farcical plots were. This video clip from John Bishop's chat show is worth watching. Listen to how long John Cleese and Connie Booth worked on those scripts. Have you spent that long on your drafts? Read
Behind-the-scenes on Newsjack Behind-the-scenes on Newsjack

Newsjack, Radio 4 Extra's topical sketch show that anyone can write for (everyone on this mailing list must know about this show now, but just checking), is back next year. In case you missed it, here's five lessons we learnt whilst watching the script being put together on the last series. Read
Sitcom Geeks Sitcom Geeks

The latest episode of the Sitcom Geeks podcast is a really interesting one. Graham Linehan talks in-depth about some of the mistakes you can make when writing a sitcom, and how American audiences differ from the UK - you can't write the same script for both audiences. Listen
Jess Robinson The Comedian's Comedian Podcast

Stuart Goldsmith continues to interview performers to find out how they do what they do. Recent guests include Jess Robinson, Dane Baptiste and Howard Read - three comedians with very different styles, but all with interesting things to say. Listen
British Comedy Guide British Comedy Guide forums

We have six forums on our message board for those who create comedy. There's more discussions, opportunities and ideas to be found here:
Writers' Discussion
Performance Discussion
Looking for Collaborators
Merry Christmas!
Wishing you all the best with your projects. Have a great festive break, and we'll see you again in your inbox in 2018!

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