BBC launches search for best new stand-up and digital comedians

Entries have opened for the BBC New Comedy Awards, which is this year searching for both the best new stand-up and digital comedian in the UK.

The competition, which first took place in 1995, has helped launch and build the careers of popular names such as Peter Kay, Russell Howard and Sarah Millican.

For 2022, the BBC is looking for entrants in two categories – the new comedian award and digital comedy award.

The winner in the former category will receive a paid commission to write and perform in a 30-minute audio pilot under the mentorship of a BBC comedy commissioner, plus a trophy and £1,000.

The latter will receive a paid commission for a BBC comedy digital short and a trophy.

Comics selected from the entry process will compete in six regional heats that will be televised on BBC Three in autumn, with the grand final screened on BBC One.

Head judge Fern Brady will be joined in each of the locations by a different host and panel of local judges including Rosie Jones, Suzi Ruffell, Babatunde Aleshe and Catherine Bohart.

Jon Petrie, BBC director of comedy, said: “BBC Comedy is the unrivalled home of new comedy talent and we are very proud of the role that the BBC New Comedy Awards plays in unearthing the British comedy stars of tomorrow.”

Anna Thomas, winner of the 2021 BBC New Comedian Award, said: “Winning the BBC New Comedian of the Year last year has already changed my life – I’ve been signed to a cracking agent, I’ve been lucky enough to sell out at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, appeared on radio and TV panel and stand-up shows, and have supported Russell Howard and Joe Lycett.

“I’ve just performed at the BBC Comedy Festival in Newcastle and I’m proper looking forward to performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.

“I’m telling you now, if you’re umming and ahhing about applying to this year’s awards, just blooming go for it.”

Entries close on Sunday July 3 at midnight. More info and instructions on how to enter are available at