BBC director of Comedy, Jon Petrie, will kick off the inaugural BBC Comedy Festival in Newcastle on Wednesday 11th May, setting out his vision for BBC Comedy and highlighting commissioning opportunities to the comedy production community.
Newcastle upon Tyne, the first BBC City of Comedy, will host the Comedy Festival for indie producers, anyone with a new career in TV and comedy, and people looking to break into or advance their career in the industry.
Taking place from Wednesday 11th to Friday 13th May 2022, the Festival will be made up of talent-led talks, panels, screenings, a short film night, live comedy, and the premiere of The Outlaws series 2, the biggest new BBC Comedy to launch last year.
BBC Comedy is also announcing today that they will be piloting a brand-new Regional Partnership Scheme, co-funded with Northern Film + Media, pairing a North East based emerging indie with a leading BBC Comedy supplier.
Talent confirmed to attend the Festival includes Charlie Brooker, Greg Davies, Jamie Demetriou, Megan Ganz, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Romesh Ranganathan, Stephen Merchant, Tim Renkow, Kat Sadler, Adjani Salmon, and Holly Walsh, as well as the casts of BBC hits Ghosts and The Outlaws.
Petrie will be joined by Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer. The BBC Comedy Commissioning team, BBC Writersroom and BBC Young Reporters will also be at the event, which aims to bring the UK comedy production community together, alongside industry heavyweights including Ash Atalla (The Office), Gill Isles (Car Share), Tom Marshall (Ted Lasso), Christine Gernon (Gavin and Stacey , New Girl), plus representatives from American broadcasters.
Thursday 12th May will be an industry focused day consisting of a range of panels and talks, and on Friday 13th May there will be sessions for anyone with a new career in TV and comedy, and people looking to break into or advance their career in the industry.
Petrie says: “We are excited to be coming to Newcastle, the BBC’s first City of Comedy, to celebrate comedy in all its forms and to outline BBC Comedy’s vision for the genre in 2022 and beyond. We are committed to nurturing, developing and collaborating with comedy enthusiasts across the UK, to ensure comedy remains a staple part of our British culture.”
A selection of the festival’s panels and events will be opened up for the public to attend, and the free tickets will be made available once the schedule has been announced.
BBC Comedy’s Regional Partnership Scheme, co-funded with Northern Film + Media, will see the pairing of a North East based emerging indie with a leading BBC Comedy supplier.
The aim of the scheme is to promote regional partnerships, aid portrayal and support the growth of indigenous scripted comedy suppliers in an underserved and underrepresented region.
The partnership will see the companies co-develop a slate of original ideas over an initial 6-month period, to help strengthen and enhance the local talent and project development on the ground, while creating new connections and out of London opportunities.
Further information about the established indie along with how North East companies can apply for scheme will be announced in due course.
The North East Regional Partnership Scheme is part of the BBC’s commitment to making its biggest investment in the North East of England for decades as part of a new partnership with the region.
The BBC last year announced it will spend at least £25m over the next five years right across the North East to fund network TV production, talent development and support for the creative sector.
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