Sitcom Writing for TV and Radio

Short course


This 5-day course will teach you the skills to get your sitcom idea onto the page and into the hands of broadcasters. If you love sitcoms and want to learn how to create characters, structure story and come up with great dialogue and jokes, this course is for you. As well as developing your writing it will also give you advice and insight about the industry and how to market your work to give it the best possible chance of success. 

This is a practical, hands on course taught by BBC Audio Drama Award winning writer Max Davis (The Mash Report, Horrible Histories, Comic Relief, Dead Ringers, The News Quiz, Newsjack) 

Max is the creator of the BBC Radio sitcom Parental Guidance starring Romesh Ranganthan and Meera Syal and the Sky Arts Christmas special, Jumpers, featuring Mo Gilligan. 


Students will be asked to come with their own original sitcom idea in order to get the most out of the course and each day will include practical in class exercises to help you get the most out of each class. The course will include...

  • Sitcom overview. Looking at TV and Radio, single camera versus studio audience, the new trend for comedy drama as well as US and UK sitcoms and how to choose a “sit” that serves your characters.  We’ll also discuss themes and what writers are trying to say with their shows. 
  • Creating funny and memorable characters by looking at intention, obstacle, characteristics (inner and outer), physicality, backstory and tempo. We’ll look at how to use real life people and archetypes to create characters that audiences want to spend time with. 
  • How to plot an episode, including the crucial beats such as inciting incident, midpoint and endings. The importance of story vs plot and how A, B and C plots differ for single camera and multi camera shows.  We will also look at format (TV and radio), script length and number of scenes for various types of shows. 
  • How to write stand out dialogue and funny jokes that spring from character to make your sitcom really stand out. 
  • How to use sketch and gag writing to improve your sitcom writing. 
  • Hints and tips to make your first 10 pages really work for you. 
  • Selling your sitcom. We will look at agents, broadcasters, independent production companies, open door submissions shows and pitching.

At the end of the five days, students will have the opportunity to pitch their sitcom to an industry guest and receive feedback from them on their work. 

Not only will you leave the course with practical skills that can be used to write and sell great scripts, you will also have developed your own original idea that you can take with you beyond the course. 

Freelance Rate: £815

Corporate Rate: £1550

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

As part of our work to diversify the screen industry workforce, there is reduction in fees of up to 50% made available by our partnership with the BFI for freelancers with disabilities, who are ethnically diverse or from lower socio-economic backgrounds

Please state ‘APPLYING ADDITIONAL BFI FUNDING’ at the end of your Why do you want to attend?’ statement in order for your submission to be considered

How to apply

Application deadline:

If you experience any problems making your application please contact us 01494 677 903

Begin your application