Channel 4 has announced that a new TV comedy award will be named after late comedian Sean Lock.
The Sean Lock Comedy Award, which will see winners given £6,000 as well as support from the broadcaster to work on a script, is aimed at new writers and performers.
The award comes ahead of the second anniversary of Lock’s death next month.
He died at the age of 58 in August 2021 after a cancer diagnosis.
Lock had appeared on a host of the broadcaster’s programmes including 8 Out Of 10 Cats and its spin-off 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, along with Sean Lock: Purple Van Man, TV Heaven, Telly Hell and Channel 4’s Comedy Gala.
His friend and fellow comedian Bill Bailey, who worked with Channel 4 to create the award, said he was “delighted”.
Bailey added: “It’s a way to honour Sean’s memory and to inspire others to pursue their own unique comic brilliance.”
Channel 4 said the recipient will receive £5,000 to support their live work as well as a script commission from Channel 4’s comedy team, writer shadowing on Channel 4’s comedy entertainment shows and a £1,000 commission to write a script for Channel 4’s digital strand.
Lock was also known for his work on BBC shows such as the sitcom 15 Storeys High and sketch comedy Is It Bill Bailey? along with appearances on panel shows QI and Have I Got News for You.
His former agent, Damon Pettitt from Off The Kerb, said: “I hope the recipient proves to be a worthy winner and shows the same integrity, work ethic and eye for the absurd, in both writing and performance, so evident in Sean’s fine body of work.”
Channel 4 has worked with comedy venues and promoters across the UK to nominate writers and performers.
The finalists include Alex Bertulis-Fernandes, Mamoun Elagab, Kyrah Gray, Christopher Macarthur-Boyd, Tadiwa Mahlunge, Kuan-wen Huang, Mike Rice, Lily Webb, Eric Rushton, Lorna Rose Treen and Anna Thomas.
— Channel 4 Press (@C4Press) July 17, 2023
The potential recipients will perform at a live comedy event this week.
The head of comedy at Channel 4 said the broadcaster is “honoured” to collaborate with Lock’s family and friends.
Charlie Perkins said: “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.”
Channel 4 said the winner of The Sean Lock Comedy Award will be announced soon.