UKTV & Kay Stonham’s Female Pilot Club Announce New Comedy Script Initiative
LONDON, U.K. – Award-winning broadcaster UKTV announces a new comedy TV script call-out in partnership with Female Pilot Club. The call for submissions is open August 8th through September 11th, and invites women to submit original comedy scripts featuring female lead characters over the age of 45.
Since 2019 Female Pilot Club has produced readings of new comedy scripts in front of live audiences with the cream of British comedy talent, including Arabella Weir, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Kiell Smith-Bynoe and Robert Webb. This announcement marks its first collaboration with a broadcaster.
“Female Pilot Club exists to amplify brilliant female comedy voices and to help great TV pilot scripts take off and fly,” says Kay Stonham, “We’re excited to partner with UKTV to find some great new comedy scripts written by women.”
Female Pilot Club was founded with support from Comedy 50:50 by award-winning comedy TV and Radio writer Kay Stonham (My Family, Harry Enfield and Chums, Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression, Shaun the Sheep,) writer Abigail Burdess (Tracey Ullman’s Show, Paddington, That Mitchell & Webb Look) and actor and writer Emily Chase (Bad Salsa, Bloody Comedy TV).
The Club was founded to address inequality. Female writers continue to face challenges pursuing careers in the film and television industry. The Writers’ of Great Britain (WGGB) revealed in their 2018 Gender Inequality and Screenwriters report that only 17% of comedy films made in the UK had at least one female writer, and that just 11% of TV sitcoms were predominantly female-written.
UKTV is also passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and actively works towards a range of pillar strategies broaching areas such as leadership and responsibility, talent and development, culture and working environment, and on screen and production diversity. Recent projects run by the commissioning team include Rosie Jones’s Disability Extravaganza, a comedy showcase for up and coming disabled comedians which is now live on the Dave YouTube channel, and the upcoming All New Laughs pilots on Dave, which are the result of a WriterSlam to elevate TV writers from underrepresented groups.
“Partnerships like this are so important,” says Lindsey Rost, Development Executive – Scripted Comedy, UKTV. “Working with organisations like the Female Pilot Club, we can identify and elevate talent that too often goes undiscovered. We look forward to seeing some wonderful new comedy come from this initiative, and hope it opens doors for the talented writers who participate”
Information about the initiative can be found on the Female Pilot Club website.