Newcastle upon Tyne will host the BBC's first Comedy Festival. The three day event - 11th to 13th May 2022 - is aimed at comedy producers and those looking to break into or advance their career in the industry.
The BBC says: "Some of the biggest comedy names are confirmed to attend including Charlie Brooker, Greg Davies, Jamie Demetriou, Megan Ganz, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Romesh Ranganathan, Stephen Merchant, Tim Renkow, Kat Sadler, Adjani Salmon and Holly Walsh - plus the casts of BBC hits Ghosts and The Outlaws.
"The festival will be made up of talent-led talks, panels, screenings, a short film night, live comedy, and the premiere of The Outlaws Series 2, the biggest new BBC Comedy to launch last year.
"The BBC Comedy Commissioning team, BBC Writersroom and BBC Young Reporters will also be in attendance at this brand-new event, which will bring the UK comedy production community together, alongside industry heavyweights including Ash Atalla (The Office), Gill Isles (Car Share), Tom Marshall (Ted Lasso), Christine Gernon (Gavin & Stacey), plus representatives from American broadcasters.
"BBC Director of Comedy, Jon Petrie, will kick off the festival alongside Charlotte Moore, the BBC's Chief Content Officer, on Wednesday 11th May. Jon will be setting out his vision for BBC Comedy and highlighting commissioning opportunities to the comedy production community.
"Thursday 12th May will be an industry focused day consisting of a range of panels and talks, and on Friday 13th May there will be sessions for anyone with a new career in TV and comedy, and people looking to break into or advance their career in the industry."
A selection of the festival's panels and events will be opened up for the public to attend, and the free tickets will be made available in due course once the schedule has been announced.
Jon Petrie says: "We are excited to be coming to Newcastle, the BBC's first City of Comedy, to celebrate comedy in all its forms and to outline BBC Comedy's vision for the genre in 2022 and beyond. We are committed to nurturing, developing and collaborating with comedy enthusiasts across the UK, to ensure comedy remains a staple part of our British culture."
Regional Partnership Scheme
BBC Comedy has also announced today that it will be piloting a brand-new Regional Partnership Scheme, co-funded with Northern Film + Media, pairing a North East based emerging indie with a leading BBC Comedy supplier.
The aim of the scheme is to "promote regional partnerships, aid portrayal and support the growth of indigenous scripted comedy suppliers in an underserved and underrepresented region."
The partnership will see the companies co-develop a slate of original ideas over an initial 6-month period, to help strengthen and enhance the local talent and project development on the ground, while creating new connections and out of London opportunities.
Further information about the established indie along with how North East companies can apply for scheme will be announced in due course.
The North East Regional Partnership Scheme is part of the BBC's commitment to making its biggest investment in the North East of England for decades as part of a new partnership with the region.
The BBC last year announced it will spend at least £25m over the next five years right across the North East to fund network TV production, talent development and support for the creative sector.