BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky plan Salford Comedy Conference

The BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky have today announced they will be working with Vision+Media to host a pan-industry Comedy Conference in Salford, Manchester.

The event will take place on Wednesday 12 October 2011 at The Lowry, Salford Quays which is home to the new media hub of the North, MediaCityUK.

The free event will be open to all comedy producers across the UK and will seek to offer lively debates and insightful sessions around the issues affecting broadcast comedy.

The running order of the day is yet to be finalised but it is envisaged that the day will be packed with sessions led by various faces from the comedy world, both on and off screen, as well as commissioners and media critics.

Maureen Walker, Sector Lead, Broadcast, Vision+Media, said: “We are delighted to support the bringing together of key commissioners, Indies and regional talent in this north west based conference.”

Cheryl Taylor, BBC Controller of Comedy Commissioning, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for the box-fresh MediaCityUK to play host to what promises to be an informative and entertaining gathering of the Comedy Community.”

Elaine Bedell, ITV Director of Entertainment and Comedy, said: “As we build on the success of Benidorm at ITV and extend our comedy output, it will be a great opportunity to discuss the issues and our aspirations with the comedy community.”

Lucy Lumsden, Head of Comedy, Sky, added: “With Sky’s huge investment in comedy this exciting event provides a great opportunity to share our vision across all the channels for the next few years.”

Channel 4’s Head of Comedy, Shane Allen, said: “Discovering and nurturing new talent on and off screen is an incredibly important part of what C4’s comedy does. We’re acutely aware that up and coming comedy producers need huge support from broadcasters so it’s in all our interests to aid the next generation. It’s a boom time for comedy and this conference will be a brilliant opportunity to come together and discuss the future and focus on the challenges we face.”

“Some of the greatest comedy and comedic talent, past and present, come from across the North of England,” added Peter Salmon, Director, BBC North. “This conference underlines our commitment to supporting emerging and forging new relationships.”