BBC gears up for second £150,000 comedy bursary

Editors will be invited to sign up to the Comedy Collective for first time. 

The BBC is gearing up to renew its £150,000 Comedy Collective bursary scheme, with applications for the second cohort opening later this week.  

This year, the BBC will invite editors to be part of the scheme, which was last year comprised of 10 mid-level producers, directors and writers. Each of those selected received up to £10,000 worth of paid shadowing on a BBC comedy production, a production mentor and a £5,000 development grant.  

The places for editors will be open to edit assistants and assistant editors who are looking to make a firm move into the genre. 

Set to join the scheme’s ambassador team is comedy editor Gareth Heal, whose most recent projects include BBC comedies Such Brave Girls, Henpocalypse! and There She Goes. The team will again include Christine Gernon for directing and Ash Atalla for producing.  

Having replaced several writers’ bursaries, including the Felix Dexter Bursary for black and minority ethnic writers, the Caroline Aherne Bursary for northern women, and the Galton & Simpson Bursary, the scheme will again be influenced by the estates of Galton & Simpson, Aherne and Dexter, which will provide sessions, events and representatives.  

BBC director of comedy Jon Petrie said: “We look forward to building on the success of our first year of the Comedy Collective, this year with the addition of editors, who play such an integral role in comedy. BBC Comedy are committed to creating pathways into these creative roles and creating opportunities for the next generation of off-screen talent.” 


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