Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Sitcom Search winner

Sitcom hero.jpg
hero.jpg

Cue the dramatic music. It’s time to name the winner of our Sitcom Search

Back in late August – a distant, innocent time when Gangnam Style was a mere internet curio and Kate Middleton’s sunbathing habits hadn’t become a political talking point – we started our Sitcom Search. The idea was simple and the prize was, if we say so ourselves, tantalisingly impressive.

As well as the opportunity to have an excerpt of their script published in the magazine, we were offering one budding comedy writer (or writing team) a £5,000 development deal with Big Talk and Comedy Central UK in exchange for an outrageously funny sitcom idea and script sample.

Simply put, all you had to do was make our judging panel – ShortList editor Martin Robinson, Big Talk CEO Kenton Allen, MD of Comedy Central UK Jill Offman and Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper – laugh to earn the chance to transform that idle funny notion you’d had in the pub into an actual TV show.

We thought we’d have a few hundred entries to sift through. We couldn’t have been more wrong: 2,136 10-page script samples had been submitted by the time the competition closed at the end of September. It was an overwhelming response that – to the voluble annoyance of a number of nail-chewing entrants – meant we had to extend the judging process.

After weeks of reading scripts about everything from lazy security guards to retired super villains, our judging panel cut it down to 40, then five scripts. These finalists – Laura Fountain (Dumped), Martin Holmes (Siblings), Daniel Hobden (A Month Of Sundays), Abby Woolf (The Motherhood), and Nathan Thomas and Daniel Berg (Hated) – were then whisked off to workshop their ideas and hone their scripts alongside star comedy writers Tom MacRae (Threesome), Jon Brown (Fresh Meat), Stefan Golaszewski (Him & Her), James Wood (Rev) and Jack Thorne (The Fades). They resubmitted final versions of their scripts and our judges were locked in a room with several buckets of strong coffee before they came to a decision. Not a simple task considering the panel spotted real promise in the scattered stacks of A4.

Arguments were smoothed over, biscuits were sent for and, hours later, the judges reached a consensus. Which means that we’re happy to usher in an entirely theoretical drumroll and announce the winner of our Sitcom Search….

And it’s Daniel Hobden (picture 1) with his script A Month Of Sundays, an autobiographical sitcom pitch about a young lad from Hull called Dan (well, it works for Larry David) who’s desperately searching for a job and an escape from the city. It has a realistically portrayed love interest, it has bad dancing, it has a great bit about the inherent awkwardness of the male fist bump.

The judges felt that Daniel’s entry was funny, fresh and had a distinctive take and voice. “It has good observations about what life is really like,” noted Kenton Allen. “Daniel clearly has an ear for comedy.” Robert Popper praised the script’s “attitude” and Martin Robinson saluted the “truth and accuracy” of the jokily morbid East Yorkshire dialogue. “Daniel had a real, personal take on a common situation,” said Jill Offman. “And he knows funny. I’m keen to hear more of his ideas and help him develop them.”

Daniel, a 27-year-old civil servant from Brough, was bowled over when we told him the news. “It’s amazing,” he said. “They always say write what you know, so that’s what I did. Before this, the only thing I’d written was a best man’s speech. I have a few ideas and can’t wait to get working on it.”

He’ll now be invited into Big Talk and Comedy Central’s top secret incubator (well, London offices) to script a full episode of A Month Of Sundays, hone his craft and talk through his ideas with their respective development teams. We can only hope it will be the beginning of an exciting, Bafta-snaffling career. But before that, here’s a short sample of he script that won our inaugural Sitcom Search...

Related

615x330_typewriter.jpeg

Final Five Sitcom Writers Revealed

friends_hero.jpg

Awesome sitcom floorplans

ricky_gervais - the_office.jpg

The greatest sitcom characters of all time

Comments

More

Why every true crime fan should be watching 'The Keepers'

A true crime hit - but with something extra

by Dan Dalton
26 May 2017

Philomena Cunk is returning to screens with 'Cunk On Britain'

What is Britain and who decided it was great?

by Matt Tate
26 May 2017

Liam Gallagher's first solo gig will be in aid of Manchester victims

He's also announced the name of the first song from his album

by Dave Fawbert
26 May 2017

Aziz Ansari is in the driving seat, and he's settling in for the ride

We spoke to the man who's become a cultural force about diversity, pasta and doing Indian accents

by Chris Mandle
26 May 2017

Danny Baker's 'The Game': the best football show you've never seen

This show is the meaning of Proper Football

by Adam Hurrey
25 May 2017

Watch Gordon Ramsay and Kevin Spacey have a swearing match

Has Ramsay finally met his match?

by Matt Tate
25 May 2017

Tom Hardy is raising money for the victims of the Manchester attack

As if we didn't already love him enough

by Dave Fawbert
25 May 2017

The Rock has finally recreated his amazing fanny pack photo

And yeah, he's pulled it off again

by Gary Ogden
25 May 2017

A scene-by-scene breakdown of the new 'Game of Thrones' trailer

"If we don't put aside our enmities and band together, we will die"

by Alex Finnis
25 May 2017

Watch the new trailer for Valerian & the City of a Thousand Planets

It stars Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna and Herbie Hancock

by Dave Fawbert
24 May 2017