2023 BBC New Comedy Awards: Unearthing the Northern Comedy Stars of Tomorrow

Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov

The renowned BBC New Comedy Awards are back, on a quest to uncover the next generation of stand-up, sketch, and musical comedians. Since their inception in 1995, these prestigious awards have kick-started the careers of some of the UK’s most beloved comedians, including Peter Kay, Lee Mack, and Sarah Millican, to name a few. The 2023 edition will feature thirty acts vying for victory across six regional heats, all televised on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.

The BBC New Comedy Awards is a nationwide talent search to find the best new stand-up, sketch and musical comedians. Since they first launched in 1995, the prestigious awards have helped launch the careers of many of the UK’s best-loved comedians including Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Nina Conti, Russell Howard, Sindhu Vee, Alan Carr, Sarah Millican, Romesh Ranganathan, Josie Long, Lost Voice Guy, and Joe Lycett to name just a few.

In the hunt to discover the stand-up superstars of the future the 2023 BBC New Comedy Awards will see thirty acts compete across six regional heats, which will be televised on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer. The six finalists will make it to the Grand Final to be held later this year which will be shown on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

For 2023 the Head Judge will be Josh Pugh, a comedian and writer from the Midlands. He was nominated for Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for his show ‘Sausage, Egg, Josh Pugh Chips & Beans’ in 2022. He was winner of English Comedian of the Year at the Birmingham Breaking Talent Award. He is known for his frequent viral hit videos such as ‘Inventing the four cheese pizza’ and ‘Piss up in a brewery’.

Josh Pugh will be joined in each of these locations by a different host and panel of judges.

In the Northern heat (Sunderland) the host will be Josh Jones, and the judges will be Ahir Shah and Amy Gledhill.

Ticket information

The Northern heat will be held on 13th September at the Sunderland Fire Station. To be in the audience you can get free tickets here: https://sunderlandculture.org.uk/book/?instanceid=618801