Launched in 2017 in memory of comedy star Caroline Aherne who died the previous year, the bursary is aimed at writer/performers and awards £5,000 to the successful applicant to enable them to fund future development of their work. Kiri will also receive mentorship from a BBC Comedy Commissioning Editor to develop a comedy script.
The BBC explains: "A regular on BBC radio, Kiri has appeared many times on The Now Show, The News Quiz and is the host of Radio 4 Extra's Newsjack. She has also appeared on Live At The Apollo, Have I Got News For You, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Would I Lie To You? and The Russell Howard Hour (for which she is also a writer).
"Already a hugely popular regular on the comedy circuit, Kiri is director and co-writer of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer nominated Gein's Family Giftshop and cult hit sketch group, Tarot. Her true crime podcast with Rachel Fairburn, All Killa No Filla, is a phenomenon with over 350,000 monthly listeners."
Pritchard-McLean says: "I'm utterly overwhelmed to be chosen for the Caroline Aherne Bursary. I adore Caroline so much, in fact, I was too intimidated to put myself forward at first, she's an absolute icon. I'm now so glad that I did. I think the previous two recipients are fantastic and what an honour to be associated with Caroline in any way, now I can pretend my endless rewatching of Mrs Merton and The Royle Family is for work and not just me being a creepy fan girl."
The previous recipients have been Sophie Willan and Amy Gledhill. Willan's sitcom pilot Alma's Not Normal has just been filmed, and will be shown on BBC Two later this year. Set in her home town of Bolton, and drawing on her own "unusual life experiences", the comedy follows Boltonian wild-child, Alma Nuthall and her family of eccentric, unruly women.
BBC commissioner Shane Allen comments: "Just as Caroline embodied the spirit of working class northern comedy that she brought to the masses, Kiri represents all that is vibrant and distinctive about the Welsh working class sense of humour and we will support her to bring that unique voice and talent to national prominence. By way of demonstrating how vital this bursary is in fast tracking emerging talent, seeing Sophie deliver her first sitcom within 18 months of being awarded this bursary makes our little old comedy hearts burst with pride."
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