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Artists selected for Comedy Artist Development Programme announced

19 Mar 2024 5 minute read
The chosen performers for the newly launched programme. Clockwise from top left: Caryl Burke, Iestyn Jones, Laurie Watts, Edward Easton, Mari & Lowri Izzard, Leroy Brito

A brand new comedy artist development scheme has been launched in Wales as a collaboration between S4C, Channel 4 and Little Wander in order to seek out and develop new talent.

The three organisations have partnered to create a new scheme for emerging Welsh (and Wales-based) comedy talent, provide career development opportunities and open the door to future creative commissions.

The selected writers and performers have been paired with mentors to work on comedy pieces to be showcased to Channel 4 and S4C commissioners at the Machynlleth and Aberystwyth Comedy Festivals in 2024 with the intention of developing these pieces into future TV projects.


The programme provides artists with paid development time, professional mentorship, industry masterclasses and opportunities to broaden their knowledge and experience of the comedy industry.

5 individual artists and one duo have been selected for the programme. Half of them will work predominantly in Welsh, showcasing to S4C, and half will work predominantly in English, showcasing to Channel 4. The artists have the opportunity to work in both languages throughout the programme.

Channel 4 Artists

Edward Easton is 1/5th of the critically acclaimed sketch group Tarot. As a performer Easton has starred in many beloved British Comedies including Inside No. 9, Starstruck, Ladhood and Porters. He is much in demand as a writer and has written widely across Radio 4 and BBC Radio Wales. He currently has a longer, narrative series in development.

He said” ‘I’m really excited to be given this opportunity. Over the years I’ve struggled to prioritise my solo work outside of the groups I’m in but this scheme has given me a much needed boost in confidence and agency to push forward with my own project. Also mid thirties seems like a great time to have a breakdown and write a musical.”

Leroy Brito is a multi talented comedian, writer and presenter who has recently supported Mo Gilligan, Rhod Gilbert and Guz Khan on tour.

“I’m really excited about joining the programme and having the opportunity to network and learn from industry leaders.”

Identical twins Mari & Lowri Izzard are Welsh speaking Actor/Writers hailing from working class roots in Bridgend, South Wales.

Whilst filming together on comedy feature “Brian & Charles” (Film4/BFI), Mari & Lowri realised they actually really enjoyed working together! Since then, the duo were selected for the inaugural Sky New Comedy Rep, have created their first original concept radio sitcom “The Garden Centre” with BBC Radio Wales/Little Wander, shortlisted for the BBC Comedy Collective 2023 and been lucky enough to join the writers room of “What Just Happened?” for BBC Radio Wales/Little Wander.

Mari & Lowri are passionate about making character-led comedies that have unconventional protagonists.

S4C Artists

Caryl Burke is originally from Porthmadog and now works as an assistant producer at Cwmni Da in Caernarfon. She’s been doing stand up for almost two years and in that time she’s gigged all over Wales, London and the North West. She enjoys long drives, short walks and Tom Hanks films.

Caryl’s excited for the opportunity to be mentored by extremely talented and funny people as well as the chance to focus on writing new stand up material and learning more about comedy in general.

Iestyn Jones, from north-west Wales, has been dabbling in comedy for a couple of years. He has a deep-pocketed passion for writing and making people laugh.

He said: “I’m looking forward to enriching these skills and experiencing something new with Little Wander’s Comedy Artist Development Programme.”

Laurie Watts is a baby faced, bilingual, Cardiff based comic. On stage you’ll find them grappling with their Transness, Welshness and their mother’s addiction to Princess Diana conspiracy theories.

They said: “I’m so excited to gain exposure to the comedy industry, to learn from my mentor and other developing Welsh talent and I am over the moon to have my first chance to perform at a comedy festival.”


Charlie Perkins, Channel 4 Head of Comedy said: “Channel 4 Comedy reflects the UK back at itself in a contemporary way so supporting the live comedy industry is key to the success of that.

“Having been to the Machynlleth andAberystwyth Comedy Festivals across the last 12 years I’ve seen incredible Welsh comedy talent nurtured, supported, and thriving- more so now than ever.

“We’re grateful to S4C for their creative partnership and can’t wait to see what the mighty Little Wander develop.”

“Chance to shine”

Guto Rhun, S4C Young Audiences Commissioner said: “S4C is pleased to support this opportunity to develop comedy talent here in Wales.

“It will ensure that we can back new talent, nurture their ideas and give them the chance to shine on a prominent platform within the industry.

“Welsh language comedy has come a long way over the last few years, with S4C’s online first strand Hansh at the forefront when it comes to providing opportunities for new talent.”

Henry Widdicombe, Little Wander Company Director said: “We’re thrilled to be working with two major broadcasters to further shine a light on the burgeoning comedy talent coming out of Wales right now.

“This is such a great opportunity for Welsh and Wales based talent and we can’t wait to work with the successful applicants.”

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