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The co-creator and producer of upcoming BBC3 comedy Funboys are among a cohort of creatives who are to receive a mid-career boost as part of its Comedy Collective.

It has awarded 10 bursaries, each offering up to £10,000 worth of paid shadowing on a BBC Comedy production, along with an allocated mentor, plus a £5,000 development grant to put towards new material at the end of their placement.

The cohort will also have access to the BBC Comedy Collective representatives including Roughcut TV’s Ash Atalla, director Christine Gernon and editing ambassador Gareth Heal.

This year’s cohort are:

Caitlin Magnall-Kearns (Northern Ireland)
A writer who is working with FABEL Productions on a comedy based on her battle with agoraphobia

Donya Majidi-Maguire (London)
A British-Iranian editor who recently edited Bafta Best Short Animation winner Crab Day and is next editing BBC comedy short The Department of They

Ethan Harvey (London)
Writer on Sex Education and Tell Me Everything who developed his first spec script, Rock Bottom, with the support of former Two Brothers Pictures executive producer Daniel Walker.

James Button (Wales)
Director of comedy shorts including this year’s The Quackening, 1 in 5 Sheep and Time’s Up, I’m Afraid. Also developing his own film and comedy series set in the fictional Welsh town of Screbs.

Laura Ferguson (Glasgow)
Producer of 2023 BBC Comedy Short A Better Place and documentaries including the Scottish FA’s Football Saved My Life series. Former head of production at Production Attic and now developing ideas with North Bridge Media.

Leah Draws (London)
The founder of Runt Films produced Jordan Gray’s Transition and worked on the animations in the Inside No 9 episode Wise Owl as well as producing Siobhan McSweeny’s directorial debut Spud. Now producing BBC3’s Funboys [pictured].

Rian Lennon (Belfast)
Co-wrote and directed BBC3’s Funboys, a BBC Comedy short that has now gone to series and co-wrote and directed his debut feature film Housejackers last year.

Sophie Worger (London)
A director who earned her stripes as an assistant director on scripted shows including Ted Lasso, Catastrophe and The End of the F***ing World, and who won a Silver Award at the Young Director’s Award in Cannes last year for her short film Blue.

Zahra Zomorrodian (Newcastle)
Producer of upcoming Radio 4 show Tom & Lauren are Going OOT! for Candle & Bell, where she heads up comedy. Previously received a commendation at the RTS Awards for 2019’s If Boobs Were Like Balls, a comedy sketch she produced for Channel 4’s Sparks.

Zak Torbati & Kate Reid
Writer-performers who wrote sketches for BBC1’s Age of Outrage and the Dave sitcom pilot The Other Half, produced by Ranga Bee. Currently working with Baby Cow on their next sitcom.

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