BBC Comedy has announced a new project aimed at promoting scripted comedy partnerships in a targeted part of the UK, starting in Northern Ireland.

The aim of the project is to bring together an independent production company (starting with an indie based in Northern Ireland) with another company, an executive producer or script executive with a significant track record in delivering ‘returnable’ scripted comedy for broadcast. The collaboration will facilitate the development of script ideas into content that could be commissioned as a broadcast pilot.

Applications open on Monday 19 June and close on Friday 1 September. Three of the partnerships will be selected for an initial script development (which will be announced at the 2023 Belfast Media Festival) and at least one of them will be selected for further funded development.

Jon Petrie, BBC Director of Comedy, says: “This is a really exciting initiative for production companies in Northern Ireland who are committed to developing scripted comedy. This collaborative approach mirrors how we have done things elsewhere to great success, by providing a focussed way for us to create the space and financing to encourage partnerships, and in turn activate developments more quickly”.

Eddie Doyle, Head of Commissioning, BBC Northern Ireland, says: “We know there’s plenty of comedy talent in Northern Ireland and it’s fantastic that BBC Comedy are as keen as we are to help get it onto network television. This initiative builds on other work that we’ve been doing with BBC network colleagues to develop and showcase our independent sector and to reflect life in contemporary Northern Ireland for a UK wide audience. And it’s another example of what the BBC can do to support innovation, creativity and local talent.”

Apply here

Jon Creamer

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