Channel 4 Announces The Sean Lock Comedy Award

Category: News Release

Channel 4 has announced The Sean Lock Comedy Award, which will showcase talented new writers and performers who embody the alternative comedic spirit of Sean and Channel 4. 

The recipient of the award will be given a unique opportunity to kickstart their career in TV comedy and will receive £5,000 to support their live work as well as a script commission from Channel 4’s comedy team, writer shadowing on Channel 4’s comedy entertainment shows and a £1,000 commission to write a script for Channel 4’s digital strand. They will also receive support and mentoring sessions from Channel 4’s commissioning teams.

Sean Lock was a talent that dominated stand-up, entertainment, and scripted comedy. From the acclaimed sitcom ‘15 Storeys High’ to ‘8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown’ and countless sold-out stand-up tours, Sean always offered a different and unique look at life. He was admired by his peers and was a true individual in the comedy world. He embodied the Channel 4 spirit of an alternative voice, with something meaningful and accessible to say, but never in a straightforward way. 

As part of the award, Channel 4 has worked with several live comedy venues and promoters across the UK to nominate and shortlist a group of standout finalists. They are all up-and-coming talents on the comedy circuit, taking their next steps into the wider world of writing and performing. 

The following finalists have been invited to perform live at a comedy event this week to celebrate the award:

Alex Bertulis-Fernandes

Mamoun Elagab

Kyrah Gray

Kuan-wen Huang

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd

Tadiwa Mahlunge

Mike Rice

Eric Rushton

Lorna Rose Treen

Anna Thomas

Lily Webb

The recipient of The Sean Lock Comedy Award will be announced in due course.

All the finalists will be given the opportunity to meet with a Channel 4 comedy commissioner for a mentoring session.

Charlie Perkins, Head of Comedy at Channel 4 said, “Channel 4 are honoured to have collaborated with Sean’s friends and family on our first comedy scheme that melds the genres of scripted, entertainment and digital together. Combining a love for Sean’s polymathy and supporting and nurturing new generations of homegrown comedy talent, we’re proud as hell to be part of this award. Thank you so much to our passionate nomination panel for giving up their time to help stretch our tendrils out across the UK. It’s an incredible shortlist and we can’t wait to see what they all get up to next. To Sean!”

Comedian and Sean’s friend, Bill Bailey, worked closely with Channel 4 to create the award. Bill said, “I am delighted that Channel 4 have created The Sean Lock Comedy Award. It’s a way to honour Sean’s memory and to inspire others to pursue their own unique comic brilliance.” 

Damon Pettitt from Off The Kerb and Sean’s former agent said, “I hope the recipient proves to be a worthy winner and shows the same integrity, work ethic and eye for the absurd, in both writing and performance so evident in Sean’s fine body of work.”

A special thanks to all those who took part in the nomination panel, including Binty Blair from Hotwater Comedy Club, Liverpool; David Bleese, Monkey Barrel Comedy, Edinburgh; Dian Cathal, writer, performer and LGBTQ+ and Disability advocate; Jade Henry from Empire Laughs Back, Belfast; Adam Jaremko from GLEE clubs, Midlands and North; Pax Lowey from Actually Rather Good Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society board member; Eva Mackay and Mike Jones, The Stand venues across the country; Ryan Taylor, The Pleasance London and Edinburgh; and Henry Widdicombe from Machynlleth Comedy Festival, Wales.