BBC New Comedy Award. Copyright: BBC
BBC New Comedy Award

BBC New Comedy Award

  • Radio stand-up
  • BBC Radio 4 Extra / BBC Radio 2 / BBC Radio 4
  • 2011 - 2023
  • 77 episodes (11 series)

The BBC's nationwide search to find the best in new stand-up comedy talent. Stars Mark Watson and Patrick Kielty.

BBC New Comedy Award. Copyright: BBC

Key details

2011 - 2023
BBC Radio 4 Extra, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4
77 (11 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.


Additional details

Also known as
  • BBC Introducing Radio 4 Comedy Award (2019 title)
  • BBC Radio New Comedy Award
  • BBC New Comedy Awards
  • BBC Radio 2 New Comedy Award

Website links

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Saturday 4th June 2011 at 10pm on BBC Radio 2
Most recent repeats

Recording details

  • Arts Theatre (London), BBC Edinburgh Fringe venue, Glee Club (Birmingham), Glee Club (Cardiff), The Comedy Store (London), The Comedy Store (Manchester), The Y Theatre (Leicester) and Up The Creek
  • Stanley Arts - 2021 series
  • Square Chapel (Halifax) - 2021 series
  • Newcastle - 2021 final
  • Light House Cinema & Cafe Bar (Wolverhampton) - 2021 series
  • Verdant Works (Dundee) - 2021 series
  • Patti Pavilion (Swansea) - 2021 series
  • Town Hall (Portrush) - 2021 series
  • Tyne Theatre & Opera House - 2021 Grand Final

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