Channel 4 launches Sparks to showcase short-form comedy content


Channel 4 will be showcasing short-form comedy ideas via a new initiative.

It has announced it will be partnering with up to four production companies, who each will be asked to deliver 30 pieces of comedy content for Channel 4's social channels over the coming year.

The channel explains: "The initiative, dubbed Sparks, offers an exciting catalyst for the most exciting emerging talent to break through, with a focus on ensuring regional diversity.

Each production company picked will receive £100,000 to deliver "30 brilliant, reactive and hilarious videos this year, reflecting the interests and experiences of young audiences."

The full brief can be found at The deadline for production companies to apply is the 12th April.

Individual creators should look to approach an established production company and work with them on submitting a pitch.

Channel 4 adds that they will also be "engaging individual producers to deliver short form content with a specific focus on non-scripted ideas which has a strong format at heart and feature new comedy entertainment talent. These shorts will air on social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube."

Comedy Blaps. Copyright: Channel 4 Television Corporation

The network also announced that it has doubled the budget for its Comedy Blaps pilots strand. These "entry level, grassroots series of shorts" are designed to allow people to test TV ideas via online platforms. Previous shows to come from the scheme include Roisin Conaty's GameFace, Stath Lets Flats and Lee & Dean, all three of which are due to return to TV for another series later this year.

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, says: "Sparks, and the bolstering of our Blaps proposition, is a really important part of our ongoing comedy strategy here at Channel 4 and we hope it'll be a brilliant runway for new talent, on and off screen. We're genuinely excited to see what comic talent emerges and cannot wait to see how our growing digital audience respond to them."

Published: Friday 15th March 2019
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