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BBC in pursuit of next ‘Mighty Boosh’

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BBC Comedy has launched a nationwide hunt to find new sitcom writing talent whose work can “achieve the notoriety” of series such as The Mighty Boosh.

The initiative, called Funny on Three, urges writers to pen a script based on one of three briefs set by the BBC and is aimed at finding new comedy series for BBC3. However, the Corporation said its ambition was that this way of finding new talent could be used for other channels in the future.

According to the BBC, the scheme’s “top priority is to find a studio show with well-defined, original, likeable, youthful characters like Two Pints of Lager, The IT Crowd or The Big Bang Theory”.

It said it was looking for a single camera script with “ideas of equivalent ambition and appeal” to Gavin and Stacey or “an innovative show that can achieve the notoriety of comedies like The Mighty Boosh, The Young Ones and Bottom”.

To find writers, the BBC has asked producers to nominate up to ten people they believe to be new talent.

The writers have been invited to pen a ten-page script for a pilot episode, with the BBC providing three comedy scenarios it is particularly keen on. The first is a sitcom about a young woman who finds out her father was a sperm donor and sets out to find her siblings, while the second is about two brothers “who are chalk and cheese” and inherit the family business.

The last brief is for a “fashion conscious teen and her gay brother” who move to a rural community. However, the Corporation said it would consider other ideas.submitted.

From the scripts, the BBC will choose those “deemed to have the most potential for the target BBC3 audience” and will select ten scripts, with two being selected to be performed by a professional cast in front of BBC comedy executives and commissioners.

The Corporation warned there was no guarantee that the scripts would be commissioned, but that it hoped “long-term relationships will be forged and opportunities to win commissions will be established”.

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