British Comedy Guide

Inside Track

The latest news and insight from the British comedy industry, with many exclusive features for BCG Pro members.

Pro's Inside Track Library is full of timeless insight and advice. Why not find a topic?

  1. Stand-up and HIGNFY writer Kevin Day, on turning comedy into your day job

    • Article
    • Writing
    • 4th March 2021

    Kevin Day on HIGNFY's gag rate, the modern ways to make an impact, and how just talking the talk can make a big difference.

  2. Authors' unions launch investigation into contribution publishers

    • Article
    • Writing
    • 3rd March 2021

    The Society of Authors and Writers' Guild of Great Britain are launching an investigation into book publishers that charge authors for publishing their work.

  3. Re-writing Reluctant Persuaders without a studio audience

    • Article
    • Writing
    • 2nd March 2021

    Edward Rowett, the creator of Radio 4's Reluctant Persuaders, explains how he re-wrote Series 4 to work without a studio audience. The techniques are quite different, so there's some very interesting insight in his article.

  4. Felix Dexter Bursary 2021 open for applications

    • Article
    • Writing
    • 2nd March 2021

    The Felix Dexter Bursary, the [o]BBC[o] scheme that helps BAME writers, is now open for 2021 entries.

  5. Gary Sinyor on creating Hapless

    • Article
    • Production
    • 1st March 2021

    Writer and director Gary Sinyor talks us through how he created the sitcom Hapless, which is now appearing on streaming platform My5. He explains how he got the self-funded project up-and-running and, in the process, captured the interest of TV networks.

  6. Funny Dot Comp winners revealed

    • News
    • Writing
    • 1st March 2021

    The results of Funny Dot Comp, Pozzitive Television's radio comedy development opportunity, have now been announced. Scripts by Mark Daniels, William Vandyck, Hudson Hughes, Lizzie Hopley and Olivia Mace were picked.

  7. The Secret Reviewer.

    The Secret Reviewer #24: Relocation, Relocation

    • Article
    • 1st March 2021

    Every month our clandestine critic reveals the murky truths behind that infamous trade, and live comedy generally. This month: Should we all just move to Scotland?

  8. Looking back at Two Pints

    • Article
    • Writing
    • 28th February 2021

    Loved by its audience and loathed by critics, this week marked the 20th anniversary of sitcom Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps. Comedy writer Tim Dawson, who got his first break on the show, reveals what he learned and reflects on the programme's achievements.

  9. Cutting Down Sketches

    • Article
    • Writing
    • 28th February 2021

    In this article we focus on one of the biggest mistakes new sketch-writers make: writing sketches that are too long. Here's some handy tips for how to make your sketches leaner on the page.

  10. BBC Radio 4.

    Radio 4 sets out 2022 comedy commissioning wishlist

    • Article
    • 26th February 2021

    Radio 4 has opened its commissioning window for comedy shows that'll be broadcast in April 2022 through to March 2023.

Library

Our archive of insight: interviews, advice and materials from those at the top. View all

Mat Ewins.
  • Article
  • Performance

We take a look at some of the devices that comedians use to elevate their stand-up shows. From including technology, to involving a human interest story, there's various things acts do to get audiences and awards judges interested.

Read
Newsjack Unplugged. Copyright: BBC.
  • Article
  • Writing

One consistent element of Newsjack is the 'impressions sketches'. We take a look at how to hone this type of sketch to specifically tick the boxes that Newsjack producers are looking for.

Read
Soup Recipe.
  • Article
  • Writing

Comedy writer Peter Beare shares the mnemonic-based system he has devised for creating unique topical comedy sketches. It works particularly well for planning material for Newsjack.

Read
Generic Email Marketing.
  • Article

We explain why it's worth having a mailing list (even if you don't think you need one), and then talk through the various email marketing platforms available. Plus: how to build subscribers, and what to put in your emails.

Read

Interesting articles from other websites

BBC's Writer's Room is a fun behind-the-scenes resource

Given the events of the last year, you're probably at a point where you feel like you are either living in the middle of a sitcom or more like a nightmare. Nightmare aside, if you've ever thought, as I'm sure we all have at one time or another, 1) this would make a great sitcom or, 2) I'm living in the middle of a sitcom, the BBC has all the answers in the BBC Writersroom. There are those that will argue that the 'Sit', or situation, needs to come first while others will argue that the 'Com', or comedy, is the most important aspect of a successful idea.

Bill Young, Tellyspotting, 5th March 2021

A to A of sitcom characters

I've been writing, YouTubing and Webinaring about sitcom characters a fair amount, and I'd like to move on and talk about plotting. But before we start with the stories, here's a quick round up of some headline thoughts on characters. Use this list to give your main characters a good going over. It'll do them - and you - the power of good.

James Cary, Sitcom Geek, 2nd March 2021

BBC3 to return as a broadcast channel in January 2022

The BBC today [2nd March] confirmed the return of BBC Three to TV screens. The move is part of our drive to deliver more value to audiences.

BBC, 2nd March 2021

Rebecca Bain & Alex Garrick-Wright interview

Rebecca and Alex are a Scotland-based comedy partnership currently making a name for themselves with regular credits for various topical comedy shows.

The Comedy Loser, 28th February 2021

BBC seeks a 'British Simpsons'

The BBC is seeking a "British Simpsons" for children in a drive to create home-grown animated series designed to counter the Americanisation of popular culture.

Adam Sherwin, i Newspaper, 25th February 2021

Latest podcasts


Olga Koch.
ComComPod: Episode 364 - Olga Koch
Russian-born and raised in Surrey at an American school, Olga Koch is a fiercely funny act with unique perspectives that aren't simply confined to her unusual backstory. We talk about...


Bethany Black.
ComComPod: Episode 363 - Bethany Black
Bethany Black makes a powerfully funny connection with her fanbase, and has been wielding it to great effect over the course of her heavily-shielded pandemic experience. We explore the effect...


Sitcom Geeks.
Sitcom Geeks: Episode 160 - We've Scene The Results
Dave announces the shortlist for the Making A Scene Of It competition, James reports back from his sitcom webinar about character - plus some surprising conclusions are drawn from the...


Russell Kane.
ComComPod: Episode 362 - Russell Kane
Energetic, elastic and totally committed to being "the toughest kid on the estate" when it comes to his ability to get laughs, Russell Kane has firm ideas about his precise...


Tom Neenan.
ComComPod: Episode 361 - Tom Neenan
Head writer for The Mash Report, show-runner for Hello America on Quibi, and profoundly nice man, Tom Neenan has a practised ease with pulling jokes out of thin air. He's...