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An indie from the comedy “hot bed” of the north-east is to be offered six months of paid development from Hat Trick.

The Derry Girls and Hypothetical indie has opened entries for a BBC comedy regional partnership scheme in which it will mentor an indie from the region and help pitch comedy ideas to the BBC, with one project guaranteed to receive further development funding.

The scheme is open both to established comedy indies with attached producers and to established producers looking to cross over into the genre.

Hat Trick will initially help draw up a project development plan outlining objectives, a budget and timelines before entering a development phase that will include a visit to Hat Trick’s London office and an outreach event in the north-east.

By January, the aim is to be in a position to pitch six original projects to BBC Comedy.

Northern Film + Media is partnering with the BBC on the initiative, which is part of the corporation’s broader ambitions to build its presence in the north-east and support local talent with £25m of investment.

In February, the BBC and NF+M issued a £100,000 tender for a youth-skewing doc from the region, which four indies will pitch in July.

BBC comedy commissioning editor, Emma Lawson described the north-east a “hot bed” of comedy talent, while Hat Trick managing director Jimmy Mulville highlighted the region’s “rich legacy of iconic comic talent, both in front of and behind the camera”.

For more details on how to apply, click here.

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