- 9th April: BBC launches 2018 New Comedy Award
- 2011 - 2017
- BBC Radio 4 Extra, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4
- 59 (7 series), plus 1 documentary
- Mark Watson and Patrick Kielty
- Lianne Coop, Tilusha Ghelani, Luke Doran, Adnan Ahmed and Suzy Grant
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.
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.
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.
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; and Heidi Regan won last year.