Channel 4 launches Sparks to champion comedy on social media

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Channel 4 has issued a call-out for a raft of short-form comedy to be published on the channel’s social media over the coming year. 

The initiative, dubbed Sparks, offers an exciting catalyst for the most exciting emerging talent to break through, with a focus on ensuring regional diversity.

The London-based broadcaster said it is seeking to engage up to four creative partners from across the UK who can each deliver 30 brilliant, reactive and hilarious videos this year, reflecting the interests and experiences of young audiences. 

Content will be published exclusively across Channel 4’s portfolio of social channels, including YouTube and Facebook.

Channel 4 said it has created a full brief, along with the deadline for submissions.

Game for anything: Gameface's Roisin Conaty is returning to C4 this year

The Sparks initiative forms part of Channel 4’s previously announced comedy sandpit strategy, which will see £1m invested in nurturing new talent harnessing short-form content. Alongside Sparks, and as part of this commitment, the budget for the Comedy Blaps strand has been doubled. 

Comedy Blaps, which live on YouTube and All 4, are entry level, grassroots series of shorts, specifically for brand new comedy ideas and for talent to find their creative feet, the broadcaster said. 

“Blaps are a space to develop ideas that work brilliantly as shorts, but which also have the scale and potential to develop further”, the channel said. 

Blaps alumni include Jamie Demetriou (Stath Lets Flats), Mark O’Sullivan and Miles Chapman (Lee & Dean), and Roisin Conaty (Gameface), all of whom will be returning to Channel 4 for second series later this year.

C4 engaging producers for short form content

Channel 4 also said that its Entertainment division will be engaging individual producers to deliver short form content with a specific focus on non-scripted ideas which has a strong format at heart and feature new comedy entertainment talent. 

These shorts will air on social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, it said.

“Sparks, and the bolstering of our Blaps proposition, is a really important part of our ongoing comedy strategy here at Channel 4 and we hope it’ll be a brilliant runway for new talent, on and off screen”, said Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4. 

“We’re genuinely excited to see what comic talent emerges and cannot wait to see how our growing digital audience respond to them.”

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