BBC Radio 2 is set to cover the New Comedy Award again this year but will put audio from the regional heats on digital radio.
Radio 2 will air the launch, semi-finals and finals and Radio 4 Extra will host the regional heats, encouraging more people to use digital radio.
Steve Wright launched the event on this afternoon’s show, along with last year’s winner of the New Comedy Award, Lucy Beaumont.
The BBC Radio New Comedy Award aims to find the best up and coming stand-up talent in the UK. Previous finalists include Alan Carr, Peter Kay, Sarah Millican and Russell Howard.
Presenter of the New Comedy Award, Patrick Kielty said: “It’s fantastic to be hosting the BBC Radio New Comedy Awards again and this year it’s bigger and better than ever. I can’t wait to be back on the stage introducing the people who tomorrow will be stealing my job.”
The best entries will be selected for eight regional heats. Each week Radio 4 Extra will offer listeners the chance to hear highlights from the heats as well as coverage of the Wildcard contenders. Clips of the winning heats will also be played on Steve Wright’s show on Radio 2 each Friday.
BBC Radio 2 Controller Bob Shennan said: “Radio 2 has a strong and lengthy tradition of championing emerging talent. The BBC Radio New Comedy Award is a terrific opportunity for budding comics to break through and we are glad to have BBC Radio 4 Extra on board to bring this fantastic talent to new audiences.”
Executive producer for BBC Radio Comedy Alison Vernon Smith and Steve Bennett, editor of comedy website Chortle, will be head judges for the competition. They will be joined at each heat by a specially chosen judge from the comedy industry. At the final, a panel of judges will be present on the night but it’s the Radio 2 listeners who will be in charge of picking the winner by voting online and via SMS.
Caroline Raphael, Commissioning Editor, BBC Radio 4 Extra said:
“For anyone who enjoys comedy Radio 4 Extra broadcasts a huge number of programmes from across the decades and indeed centuries. A cavalcade of the very best, some remembered well, some dusted off and heard for the first time in many years. It is too easy to forget that all this glorious talent was once unknown and unheard.
“So it is with huge pleasure that BBC Radio 4 Extra is co-hosting the 2013 BBC New Comedy Awards with BBC Radio 2. BBC Radio 4 Extra’s involvement means the regional heats will now be broadcast as part of 4 Extra’s The Comedy Club. They will become the archive of the future, for some of these new voices will become the stars of tomorrow and we will be able to say, you heard them here first.”