Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Comedian's Noble Gesture to Mentor; Stand-Up Star Returns to His Roots to Help Aspiring Performers to Write Scripts

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Comedian's Noble Gesture to Mentor; Stand-Up Star Returns to His Roots to Help Aspiring Performers to Write Scripts

Article excerpt

Byline: Sam Wonfor

IF you were looking for a comedy sounding board, you'd struggle to find one better than the gentleman who spent a day lending an ear on his native Tyneside yesterday. Award-winning Geordie stand-up Ross Noble had agreed to be mentor for a day to a group of 12 comedy writers and performers who were putting the finishing touches to the scripts for an upcoming radio sketch show.

And from the collective laughter coming from the room they were using as a workshop, it sounded like they may just have a half-hour hit on their hands.

"It has been really good... some brilliant stuff," said 34-year-old Ross.

"There are some really strong sketches. It's going to be great, which is a relief because there is always that fear when you do things like this that some stuff is going to be a bit rubbish," he added with a laugh.

"Thankfully, this wasn't the case at all. The good thing is that a lot of the guys in there are already local performers and writers who have got experience, but some of them are starting out too.

"It's a nice mix and I've had a really good time."

There were certainly some pretty recognisable names sitting around the table at Northern Film and Media (NFM) in Newcastle, where the workshop was being held.

Comedians Gavin Webster, John Scott and Holly Burn and actors Trevor Fox and Joe Caffrey were among the dozen writers and performers who'd had their submissions accepted by the team behind a new comedy initiative launched at the end of last year.

Entitled Jesting About, the project is a collaborative effort between the BBC and NFM, aimed at giving funny people from the region the opportunity to attend masterclasses, workshops and mentoring sessions in the run-up to a string of broadcasting opportunities.

It was launched by Teesside comedian Bob Mortimer (of Vic and Bob fame), who has also spent time in the region, mentoring those whose work and ideas were selected from the hundreds of submissions received.

As well as the radio sketch show, which will be recorded next week at Live Theatre in Newcastle and broadcast on BBC Radio Newcastle on May 2, five writers are also getting the chance to pitch a sitcom pilot for BBC1, while another six comedy creatives are putting together a stream on online content. …

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