BBC New Comedy Award. Copyright: BBC.

BBC New Comedy Award

BBC Radio 4 Extra and BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4 stand-up awards. 75 episodes (9 series), 2011 - 2019. Stars Mark Watson and Patrick Kielty.

BBC New Comedy Award. Copyright: BBC.

BBC New Comedy Award

The BBC's nationwide search to find the best in new stand-up comedy talent

2011 - 2019
BBC Radio 4 Extra, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4
75   (9 series), plus 1 documentary
Mark Watson and Patrick Kielty
Lianne Coop, Tilusha Ghelani, Luke Doran, Adnan Ahmed, Suzy Grant and Lyndsay Fenner

The BBC New Comedy Awards first started in 1995 and ran to 2015, kickstarting the careers of many top UK comics. Past winners and finalists include Rhod Gilbert, Josie Long, Peter Kay, Angela Barnes, Alan Carr, Nina Conti, Lee Mack, Sarah Millican and Russell Howard.

BBC Radio relaunched the awards in 2011, with over 600 aspiring comedians entering into the process.

Highlights from the heats are broadcast on Radio 4 Extra, with different guest comedians acting as host. 10 comedians battle for a place in the semi-finals, with a panel of judges picking which comedians progress to the final rounds, with the grand final broadcast live on Radio 4.

Between 2011 and 2015, Radio 2 broadcast the semi finals and final with Patrick Kielty as the host, but now the final is broadcast on Radio 4 with Mark Watson as the presenter.

Angela Barnes won the 2011 contest, Lucy Beaumont triumphed in 2012, Steve Bugeja was the winner in 2013, Lee Ridley (aka Lost Voice Guy) won in 2014, Yuriko Kotani was the winner in 2015, Jethro Bradley was 2016's winner; Heidi Regan triumphed in 2017; and Stephen Buchanan came out top in 2018.

Whoever wins takes home £1,000 and a 15-minute script commission from BBC Radio Comedy. Additionally, all finalists are mentored by the in-house comedy department across the year and receive advice, guidance and the chance to appear in slots across the BBC.

Production Details

Production company
Also known as
  • BBC Radio 2 New Comedy Award
  • BBC New Comedy Awards
  • BBC Radio New Comedy Award
  • BBC Introducing Radio 4 Comedy Award (2019 title)
Laugh track
Live audience

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Saturday 4th June 2011 on BBC Radio 2 at 10pm
Last new broadcast
Thursday 15th August 2019 on BBC Radio 4 at 6:15pm
Last repeat
Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 10:30pm on Radio 2

Website links


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