One of the most popular figures in the British Asian entertainment scene has been selected for the Comedy Room – a new initiative by the BBC’s Writers Room which develops new writing talent for the Corporation.
Writer and DJ Shai “Shai Guy” Hussain – creator of the online comedy series ‘Three Shades of Brown’ – is one of 15 up-and-coming writers chosen for the scheme which aims to encourage and develop new writers and connect them with BBC Comedy – where some of Britain’s best-known comics and writers began.
The fifteen were chosen from among scores of candidates through written submissions, talent searches as well as a couple via stand-up shows.
“It’s really humbling to have been chosen for the BBC Comedy Room. As a writer whose main interest is in comedy, it used to frustrate me that the only development schemes that existed were to write for Drama and soap operas. So this is great.
Shai, who is of Indian origin, added that he was particularly pleased that opportunities are available beyond those within the Black and Minority Ethnic sphere.
“It’s amazing to have work recognised for a scheme that’s not purely focused on BAME talent. I’m not knocking such schemes – they’re as supportive as any programmes I’ve been on. But it’s a good sign being chosen for something that doesn’t depend on skin colour. I’m looking forward to batting ideas out, collaborating with other funnies and getting things made”, he said.
Comedy Room is the latest initiative by the BBC’s prestigious and widely-respected Writers Room which has provided a platform for writers who have gone on to create many well-known programmes, including the crime drama ‘From Darkness’ and ‘Boy Meets Girl’, billed as the UK’s first ‘Transgender Sitcom’.
“The creation of Comedy Room is a way of answering the question, ‘How do we best support emerging writing talent in Comedy?’ We decided on regular, structured teaching; introductions to key people in BBC Comedy; workshops; and script support for a hand-picked group of writers, over a limited time-period, in conjunction with BBC Radio and TV Comedy”, said Anne Edyvean, Head of the BBC Writersroom.
Tez Ilyas, who starred in Shai’s ‘Three Shades of Brown’, is also among those selected for the Comedy Room.
In case you missed ‘Three Shades…’, have a giggle here: