We are delighted to announce that our script GIRLBAND won The Sitcom Mission 2013!
‘With an emphasis firmly on script development, The Sitcom Mission is an international sitcom writing competition, ‘The X Factor for sitcoms’.’
The Grand Final was judged by a who’s who of British comedy commissioning, including Saskia Schuster (Sky Comedy), Chris Sussman (BBC TV Comedy), Iain Coyle and Tanya Qureshi (UKTV Comedy Commissioning).
GIRLBAND, winner of the 2013 Sitcom Mission, tells the story of the obsessive fans of a long-forgotten 90’s pop trio, Girlband. JENNY and DEBRA are the last surviving members of the band’s fanclub: ‘Girlband, United, Now and Then’ (GUNT). As the women celebrate their 900th meeting, they are surprised by the arrival of a new member. GUNT’s newest recruit, CERI, is relocating from Wales with boyfriend GARETH, anticipating a warm welcome and an opportunity to make a fresh start and take her unconventional relationship to the next level.
Meanwhile, JENNY’s mother, CAROL, is having relationship troubles of her own. She’s enlisted the help of DEBRA’s younger brother NEIL to help set up her online dating profile. NEIL is experienced with internet romance, as he dreams of running away with the online girlfriend he has never met, and escaping his overbearing older sister. This is devastating news to JENNY, who has been plucking up the courage to declare her feelings for NEIL for as long as she can remember.
With only Girlband in common, will JENNY, DEBRA and CERI’s shared obsession translate into the friendship the lonely women all yearn for? Will Girlband’s last surviving fanclub… survive?
We recently wrote a blog about our experience of working with Sitcom Mission’s Simon & Declan…
“Competing in The Sitcom Mission 2013 was an invaluable experience for us as writers – we’d acted for a long time but were still pretty new when it came to writing, with only six months of training and a small repertoire of smutty innuendo between us. We were eager to learn, and the constant feedback from Simon and Declan, as we submitted countless drafts, really forced us to learn how to work quickly whilst still striving for excellence. This allowed us to have a small taste of how fast the required turnaround would be when working in the industry. In some ways, the experience of the competition itself was so great, winning was really just the cherry on the (already very tasty) cake!
Although we have been working on Girlband for almost two years now (first as a stage show, now for TV), working with Simon and Declan really gave us a better understanding of our characters and the story we hope to tell. As writer-performers, our experience of the competition probably differed from the other finalists slightly as we also performed our script (pictured) – we can tell you now, stage fright is really taken to a new level when you’re being judged on your writing as well as wrestling with a tricky accent!
Basically, we lived, slept and breathed The Sitcom Mission for six months (with a tiny break in the middle for Susie to get hitched). Luckily, our hard work paid off – winningThe Sitcom Mission 2013 has been instrumental in providing further opportunities to develop our sitcom for TV. Also, as Snez Naik, winner of The Sitcom Mission 2012, said last year, it’s great to have something positive to talk about when people ask ‘how’s the writing going?’. There’s no two ways about it, winning a competition like this one forces people to take you that little bit more seriously. Ironic really, when you’re supposed to be funny…!
The positive feedback we received from the showcase has given us confidence in our idea and motivation to keep striving forward. Since winning in October, we have met with a production company who attended the live final, and are currently meeting with agents. We’re confident that without The Sitcom Mission, we would have struggled to set up these meetings, so for that we are extremely grateful. At the moment, we’re busily pulling together a Girlband treatment to present in the coming weeks, hopefully filming a pilot… (subject to funding), as well as developing new comedy projects for the New Year.
It’s a long road we’re starting out on, but given time, you just might see our show on the telly (if you’re lucky). Watch this space…”
Thank you to Sitcom Mission’s Simon & Declan for all their help and support. The competition was challenging but an incredibly rewarding process. The standard was extremely high and it was a pleasure to work with such talented writers and actors.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us get GIRLBAND this far. Your love and support is greatly appreciated.
Special thank you to Michael Goward, who gave a hilarious performance of Neil.
Our hero. ‘
You’re full of oaty goodness’.