Applications will open later this week to join the second cohort of the BBC Comedy Collective.

The BBC Comedy Collective is a “supercharged” bursary scheme that offers 10 places to the next generation of comedy writers, producers and directors who would like to develop their careers in scripted comedy. This year editors will also be invited to apply.

Comedy editor Gareth Heal is joining the ambassador team this year alongside existing ambassadors Christine Gernon for directing and Ash Atalla for producing. The estates of Galton & Simpson, Caroline Aherne and Felix Dexter continue to play vital roles in the Comedy Collective, with sessions and events slated with representatives from the estates for 2024.

The BBC Comedy Collective of 2023 saw 10 mid-level creatives in producing, directing and writing join the first cohort. Each bursary winner received up to £10,000 worth of paid shadowing on a BBC Comedy production, along with an allocated production mentor, plus a £5,000 development grant to put towards new material, or further support towards the individual’s development at the end of the placement. They also have a dedicated point of contact within the BBC Comedy Commissioning team, and access to the Collective ambassadors.

In addition to their shadowing opportunities, this years’ delegates attended the BBC Comedy Festival, the Belfast Media Festival, a directing session with Christine Gernon, an ‘Editing for Comedy’ session with Gareth Heal, and a private round table with Jesse Armstrong with more tailored sessions and events to come.

Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy at the BBC says: “We are so proud of the 2023 BBC Comedy Collective cohort and what they have achieved with us this year. We look forward to building on the success of our first year of the Comedy Collective, this year with the addition of Editors, who play such an integral role in comedy. BBC Comedy are committed to creating pathways into these creative roles and creating opportunities for the next generation of off-screen talent.”

Gareth Heal, Editor Representative says: “Comedy is a genre that people relate to like no other; it embeds itself into our conversations, friendships and families in a way other genres can’t. It’s a massive privilege to be joining the BBC Comedy Collective ambassadors, and it’s an honour to be part of bringing the next generation of comedy talent through.”

The BBC Comedy Collective will be working in partnership with BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales, with the support of BBC Writers, BBC History, BBC Academy, Elevate, BAFTA and a range of screen agencies including North East Screen and Creative Wales.

In addition to the Comedy Collective, BBC Comedy has reopened its Comedy Grants scheme for a 2nd year. Applications for the 5k grants open on Thursday 11th January and are an opportunity for small companies, organisations and communities from across the UK who want to support growth, outreach and inclusion activity with comedy. The grants were awarded to ten projects last year supporting working class voices, writers with disabilities, young people and LGBTQI+ voices.

More information on the schemes and how to apply will be available via and

Applications open on Thursday 11th January and will close on Wednesday 31st January 2024.

Jon Creamer

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