Channel 4 has launched a new initiative, Sparks, for short form comedy to play out on its socials channels and has doubled the budget for its ‘Comedy Blaps’ strand.

Sparks is a new scheme for short form comedy to go out on the channel’s portfolio of social media channels.

Up to 4 creative partners from across the UK will be asked to deliver 30 videos this year “reflecting the interests and experiences of young audiences.”

The full brief, along with the deadline for submissions, can be found at https://www.channel4.com/commissioning/4producers/sparks-brief

The Sparks initiative forms part of Channel 4’s previously announced comedy sandpit strategy, which will see £1m invested in nurturing new talent harnessing short-form content. Alongside Sparks, and as part of this commitment, the budget for the Comedy Blaps strand has been doubled. Comedy Blaps, which live on YouTube and All 4, are entry level, grassroots series of shorts, specifically for brand new comedy ideas and for talent to find their creative feet. Blaps are a space to develop ideas that work as shorts, but which also have the scale and potential to develop further. Blaps alumni include Jamie Demetriou (Stath Lets Flats), Mark O’Sullivan and Miles Chapman (Lee & Dean), and Roisin Conaty (Gameface), all of whom return to Channel 4 for second series later this year.

Entertainment 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.

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, said: “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.”

Staff Reporter