British Comedy Guide
BBC New Comedy Award. Copyright: BBC.

BBC Comedy Award 2019 open for entries

The BBC New Comedy Award - now called The BBC Introducing Radio 4 Comedy Award 2019 - is now open for entries.

The long-running prestigious competition offers new talent a springboard into the world of comedy, and gives the winner exposure on the BBC.

The winner of this year's award will take home £1000 and a 15 minute script commission from BBC Studios. All finalists will be mentored by the BBC Studios comedy team across the year and receive advice, guidance and the chance to write for and appear in slots across the BBC.

As in recent years, the heats will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra, with the semi-finals and final taking place at the Edinburgh Fringe in August. The final - on Thursday 15th August - will again be hosted by Mark Watson, and broadcast live on Radio 4.

Past winners and finalists of the BBC Comedy Award include Alan Carr, Sarah Millican, Peter Kay, Joe Lycett, Tez Ilyas, Lee Mack, Sindhu Vee, Rhod Gilbert, Shappi Khorsandi and Ken Cheng.

Other winners of the award include 2005's Tom Allen, who starred in Radio 4's award-winning Bleak Expectations, and has a full series of Tom Allen Is Actually Not Very Nice coming to the network later this year; 2011's Angela Barnes, whose second series of Angela Barnes: You Can't Take It With You aired on Radio 4 earlier this year, and has just finished a four series run as host of 4 Extra's Newsjack; 2014's Lost Voice Guy, who went on to win Britain's Got Talent 2018 and whose radio sitcom Ability is currently airing its second series; and 2017's Heidi Regan, who has a Radio 4 show coming later this year and has written for various BBC Radio comedy shows.

Last year's winner, Stephen Buchanan, says of taking part: "I used to dread competitions but the whole experience was honestly so much fun. Winning the award has already presented me with so many amazing opportunities that I'll be forever grateful for. Without doubt I'd urge anyone that does stand-up to enter."

Sioned Wiliam, Commissioning Editor for Comedy on BBC Radio 4, says: "Radio 4 continues to champion the best up-and-coming comedy talent, and I'm so excited to hear from new voices from all over Britain competing for this award. The BBC Introducing Radio 4 Comedy Award has a stellar record for finding future stars and it's great to bring the competition back for another year."

To enter, you should submit a recording of you performing a five minute comedy routine and complete the application form before the closing date of midnight on Thursday 9 May 2019.

The best 50 entrants will be selected for regional heats, taking place throughout July in locations in London, Cardiff, Leicester and Manchester.

For full terms and conditions and to enter visit bbc.co.uk/comedyaward

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