Updated : Tue, 28 Aug 2012 09:53:42 +0000
BBC Comedy Commissioning and BBC Writersroom have joined forces for a second nationwide talent search to find new comedy gold. If you have a big studio sitcom brewing in your mind and can tell original stories, invent characters and catchphrases that can make a live audience laugh, then send in your script.
This is an opportunity not to be missed - you may get the chance of your work performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at our Sitcom Showcase at the Studio in MediaCity, Salford. You could also be in line for a comedy masterclass on how to write studio sitcoms, plus an intensive week away developing your idea hand-in-hand with BBC comedy producers and established comedy writing talent.
The amazing Dawn French will be on the panel of judges. Cheryl Taylor (Controller, Comedy Commissioning), who judged last year's BBC writersroom comedy talent search says: "I was thrilled last year by the number of very funny and original scripts that we were asked to judge. It was a pleasure to read all of the short listed projects as was having the opportunity to meet some of their very talented authors."
The deadling for entries is Wednesday, 21 March 2012. For information on how to enter, visit the Writersroom website.
Publ.Date : Thu, 02 Feb 2012 13:52:39 +0000
If you were visitng the internet yesterday, you may have heard about our new show for 2013 It's Kevin, starring and written by comedian Kevin Eldon.
You may have heard that it's sketches, it's songs, it's characters, it's guests, and it's a man who's old enough to know better mucking about, with help from a number of his comedy friends.
What you have probably not heard until reading it just now is that you can watch a clip from the show as a taste of things to come right here, right now!
It's Kevin: The Perspective Twins
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Jun 2012 15:30:00 +0000
Armando Iannucci's award-winning political comedy series The Thick Of It returns to BBC Two this autumn.
Coalition rows take their place alongside Government embarrassment, ministerial cock-ups, backroom deals, policy U-turns, spin-doctoring, political back-stabbing and wild media speculation
Roger Allam returns as Peter Mannion MP, the new Secretary of State for The Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (DOSAC), supported by his team of special advisors, commanded by Number 10's Director of Communications Stewart Pearson (Vincent Franklin) and thwarted by his new Coalition partner, DOSAC's Junior Minister Fergus Williams MP (Geoffrey Streatfeild).
BAFTA award winners Rebecca Front and Peter Capaldi reprise their roles as Nicola Murray MP and foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, both now consigned to the Opposition. The ensemble cast is completed by Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith, Ben Willbond, and Rebecca Gethings.
Armando Iannucci says that this series takes us into exciting and uncharted territory: "A new Coalition Government, and Malcolm and Nicola fretting in the wings. For the first time too a storyline takes us all the way through the series right to the bitter, bitter end, with Government and Opposition convulsed in an incident that questions every political convention imaginable, but in a funny way."
BBC Two Controller Janice Hadlow says she is delighted to welcome it back, "A new Coalition government, what better time for a new series of The Thick Of It?"
Head of Comedy Mark Freeland is excited to see The Thick Of It return too - "No other show could coin the term 'Omnishambles' and see it become part of the political lexicon."
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Jul 2012 07:00:00 +0000
Ashley Blaker, series producer, co-creator & co-writer of The Matt Lucas Awards stopped by Comedy Towers to talk to us about making the final episode of series one.
Everyone was very excited about making this episode of The Matt Lucas Awards and there was a fun end-of-term feel around the studio. For starters it was the final recording of an incredibly intense period that should have carried a government health warning. We were also really looking forward to having Ruth Jones, David Baddiel and Griff Rhys Jones on since not only are they three really funny people, but they are also seldom seen on other comedy chat shows so we were thrilled they'd agreed to do this.
A few days before filming, the final Lucas was going to be Most Baffling Song and of course everyone would have to perform their nomination. However, locked in my office at Television Centre at around 2:30am - high on chocolate and processed food - Matt and I agreed we'd already had people singing and wanted to do something a bit different. So we changed the award to 'Most Baffling Campfire Song' and decided we'd like to build an actual campfire in the studio and get everyone to sit around it chatting and singing with the lights turned down. I'm sure the Health and Safety people were tearing their hair out, but credit to our amazing art department and in particular Production Designer Dennis De Groot who made it all happen.
A reason for personal excitement was also the fact that we managed to track down our former swimming teacher Mr Keith Talbot. The first award is the Lucas for School Subject Most Likely To Induce Severe Depression and David Baddiel - who went to the same school as both Matt and myself - nominated swimming. So it seemed only fair that the man who depressed David all those years ago should have the right to reply!
We asked fans of the show to send in their questions about The Matt Lucas Awards for Ashley to answer:
Who was Ashley's favourite guest/anecdote?
Favourite guest is a tough one. We really were blessed with having great guests who got into the spirit of the show and were happy to sing, perform magic tricks, eat cakes, perform gangster raps, wear silly wigs and anything else we asked them to do. So forgive me if I don't annoy 17 guests by picking one favourite.
One of my favourite anecdotes was one we didn't have time to hear in the end. In the recording of episode four we had a Lucas for Most Embarrassing Item of Clothing Ever Seen In A Guest's Wardrobe and Johnny Vegas told a story about how he wasted his first ever student grant cheque on a poncho in Camden Market. We brought out models wearing all the nominations but in Johnny's case it was a very large woman and when she appeared it was a very funny moment. Sadly there just wasn't time to have it in the final show.
What are the possible pitfalls of transferring a comedy from radio to TV? How have you avoided them?
That's a good question. On the one hand you run the risk of pointing a camera at the exact same show and having people criticise you for just making a radio show on TV. On the other hand, if you change too much you run the risk of ruining the show and losing what was good about it in the first place.
I'm sure there will be people who say they preferred the show on radio just as I know others who have told me they prefer the TV version. I think one needs to view them as quite distinct entities because there are things that we can do in one medium that we can't do in the other.
Where do you get all the sofas from?
Why? Do you want to buy one? Our Art Department did a great job on the set and in the weeks before filming they would constantly show us photos of sofas they had seen to find out if we liked them. They seem to be able to find anything although I genuinely have no idea where they get all this stuff. If we ask them for twenty 1970s annuals for a shelf they seem to magically appear.
Would you ever consider making it more spontaneous where for example the audience could shout out categories and the panel would then have to come up with things on the spot?
Absolutely, why not? Hang on, if we do that now you're going to say it was your idea!
Make sure you tune into the final episode of series one of The Matt Lucas Awards on Tuesday 15th May at 10.35pm on BBC One. There will also be a compilation episode on Tuesday 22nd May.
Check out Ashley's post on the TV Blog: Making the Matt Lucas Awards with my childhood friend Matt
Publ.Date : Fri, 11 May 2012 18:00:01 +0000
Up in Edinburgh, the BBC's College of Production (COP) has been talking to comedians about online shennanigans. The COP's Catherine Scott writes...
Yesterday saw four of comedy's bright new stars share their thoughts on how to be 'funny and multiplatform', during BBC College of Production's live podcast from the BBC Edinburgh Festival base in Potterow. The panel consisted of Daniel Berg, the comedy writer and developer who specialises in viral video, Bec Hill, named one of the "Top 10 Funniest Comedians on Twitter", Arron Ferguson of alternative comedy duo Not The Adventures of Moleman and Iván González, one half of Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award 2011-winning duo Max and Ivan.
Prolific Tweeter Bec Hill told us how she started using online platforms simply to share her comedy sketches and cartoons with her friends, and was pleasantly surprised when it snowballed into a 3000+ Twitter following. Bec also noted that her online audience has grown much faster than her live audience – "I've reached 100,000 views on YouTube, I certainly haven’t got that in Edinburgh yet!".
Daniel Berg's passion for viral videos was evident when a strong gust of Scottish wind blasted through the pink tent and he remarked "Film that, that'll go viral!". Daniel spoke of how social media and online platforms give new acts the chance for exposure without the need to be commissioned. When wrangling with the shorter attention span of the internet audience, Daniel’s advice to comedians was "Keep your content topical, and keep it short."
Ivan Gonzalez sang the praises of online platforms such as YouTube for giving comedians creative control, and also gave a shout-out to BBC's iPlayer and Feed My Funny for allowing viewers to access comedy outside the restrictions of viewing schedules. Like Bec Hill, Ivan also enjoys the immediacy of 140 character jokes on Twitter – and if the #EdFest feed this week is anything to go by, so do a lot of us (“Just been to a lecture on how to build a ship. Riveting!")
Arron Ferguson's two-man sketch troupe Not The Adventures of Moleman actually began as a solely online act, only venturing out onto the live circuit once they had built a large online following. Noting that "some people think you need to be live to be comedians", Arron pointed out that a lot of NTAOM's sketches actually work better online, because film can provide subtle shots that might be missed in onstage comedy. Arron also gave us possibly the most useful piece of advice on treating online platforms with respect – "Don’t use Twitter to invite all your fans to KFC!"
Although the public passion for live comedy gigs remains strong, any new comedian entering the industry should remember that there is a plethora of other options available to them for making their name and getting their work out there. It might take a while to build up 100,000 hits on YouTube or 1000 followers on Twitter, but as our guests concluded “As long as you’re having fun, that's what matters."
Listen to the full podcast.
Follow College of Production @BBCCop
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Aug 2012 13:48:00 +0000