Initiative sought to find UK’s most promising comedy writers.

BAFTA have announced the winners of a nationwide search to find the UK’s most promising comedy television writers, an initiative of BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum, the Academy’s flagship writing programme.

Winners Sarah Courtauld, Nicolas Small, and writing partners Kayleigh Llewellyn & Matthew Barry will be flown to New York, courtesy of British Airways, to have their work performed live in front of industry attendees at the New York Television Festival (NYTVF) on Oct 25. All winners will also receive a networking workshop and one-to-one mentoring sessions with producers and literary agents before they fly to New York, as well as access to the festival’s premieres, one-on-one meetings with US TV development executives and submission opportunities to NYTVF Pitch.

The judging process for the award involved four rounds of voting with the best scripts read by two juries headed up by Andrew Newman [pictured], chair of BAFTA’s television committee and chief executive of Objective Productions, and Terence Gray, director of NYTVF. Jennifer Saunders, Chris Addison, Damon Beesley and John Morton were among the writers, producers and actors included on the juries, alongside representatives from all major UK broadcasters.

A detailed script report was sent to each of the hundreds of applicants to help them develop their writing and story skills.

Newman commented: “BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum at the NYTVF has yet again unearthed some really exciting new scriptwriters. With the winners getting a trip to New York to attend the festival and network with the cream of the US TV industry, we are pleased to promote their work on an international stage, and have high hopes that we will be hearing more from them in the future.”