Bill Bailey thanks Channel 4 for touching Sean Lock announcement

Bill Bailey has thanked Channel 4 following an announcement about his late friend and fellow comedian Sean Lock.

Lock died of lung cancer in August 2021, aged 58. One month before the two-year anniversary of his year, Channel 4 has announced a new award in his honour.

Named The Sean Lock Comedy Award, it has been created to shine a spotlight on new comedy performers who “embody” Lock’s “alternative comedic spirit”.

The recipient of the award will receive £5,000 to support their live performances, plus a £1,000 script commission from Channel 4’s comedy team.

This opportunity will also permit the winner to shadow writers on comedy entertainment shows as well as mentoring sessions from the channel’s commissioning teams.

Bailey, who was best friends with Lock, has responded to the the new award created in Lock’s memory.

He wrote on Twitter: “Thanks to @Channel4 and everyone involved in making this happen. Thanks for all the laughs Sean, miss you old pal.”

Channel 4’s Head of Comedy Charlie Paerkins said of the new award: “Channel 4 are honoured to have collaborated with Sean’s friends and family on our first comedy scheme that melds the genres of scripted, entertainment and digital together. Combining a love for Sean’s polymathy and supporting and nurturing new generations of homegrown comedy talent, we’re proud as hell to be part of this award.

“Thank you so much to our passionate nomination panel for giving up their time to help stretch our tendrils out across the UK. It’s an incredible shortlist and we can’t wait to see what they all get up to next. To Sean!”

A shortlist of finalists has been selected, featuring rising talents from the comedy circuit. They will now perform live at a comedy event with a winner set to be announced in due course.

The finalists are Alex Bertulis-Fernandes, Mamoun Elagab, Kyrah Gray, Kuan-wen Huang, Christopher Macarthur-Boyd, Tadiwa Mahlunge, Mike Rice, Eric Rushton, Lorna Rose Treen, Anna Thomas and Lily Webb.