A brand new comedy artist development scheme is being launched in Wales as a collaboration between Channel 4, S4C and Little Wander in order to seek out and develop new talent.
The three organisations have partnered to create a new scheme for emerging Welsh (and Wales-based) comedy talent, provide career development opportunities and open the door to future creative commissions.
The selected writers and performers will be paired with mentors to work on comedy pieces to be showcased to Channel 4 and S4C commissioners at the Machynlleth and Aberystwyth Comedy Festivals in 2024.
The programme will provide artists with paid development time, professional mentorship, industry masterclasses and opportunities to broaden their knowledge and experience of the comedy industry.
The artists will be able to develop any work broadly within the narrative comedy genre - creating new material and characters which can form the basis for developing full narrative TV series prospects with the two broadcasters. S4C will also consider applications from those who wish to develop other forms of comedy performance.
Six participants will be selected for the programme, with at least half working in the Welsh language. It is expected that the selected artists will be at various stages in their careers and there is a commitment to tailoring the programme to suit the artists’ individual needs. At least half of participants will be working predominantly in Welsh. Participants will be able to prepare material in both languages to present to the different broadcasters but must choose a primary language and broadcaster when making their application. Support is available to new Welsh speakers, learners, and those with little previous experience of performing in Welsh.
Charlie Perkins, Channel 4 Head of Comedy: “Channel 4 Comedy reflects the UK back at itself in a contemporary way so supporting the live comedy industry is key to the success of that. Having been to the Machynlleth and Aberystwyth Comedy Festivals across the last 12 years I’ve seen incredible Welsh comedy talent nurtured, supported, and thriving- more so now than ever. We’re grateful to S4C for their creative partnership and can’t wait to see what the mighty Little Wander develop.”
Guto Rhun, S4C Young Audiences Commissioner: “S4C are pleased to support this opportunity to develop comedy talent here in Wales. It will ensure that we can back new talent, nurture their ideas and give them the chance to shine on a prominent platform within the industry. Welsh language comedy has come a long way over the last few years, with S4C’s online first strand Hansh at the forefront when it comes to providing opportunities for new talent.”
Henry Widdicombe, Little Wander Company Director: “We're thrilled to be working with two major broadcasters to further shine a light on the burgeoning comedy talent coming out of Wales right now. This is such a great opportunity for Welsh and Wales based talent and we can't wait to work with the successful applicants.”
Applications can be from individuals, duos or groups (applications from companies will not be considered). All applicants have to be Welsh or based in Wales. All applicants have to be 18 or older. For artists working predominantly in English, Channel 4 will only accept applications from artists who have no previous commissions from a major broadcaster. For artists working predominantly in Welsh (S4C) applications from emerging artists as well as those who have had a previous commission with S4C. More details about how to apply are available here.