The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF), in partnership with Big Talk Productions and LOCO (The London Comedy Film Festival), has launched The Betty Box and Peter Rogers Comedy Writing Programme – a script development programme for four emerging comedy writers.

Selected from over 600 applications, each recipient has each been awarded £10,000 and a personalised seven month programme of industry support beginning in October 2016, as they develop a comedy feature film screenplay or pilot script for a narrative comedy television series.

Guiding the recipients creatively will be Big Talk Productions, who have matched each of the writers with an experienced script editor to help shape their projects over the coming months.

The CTBF and LOCO will work closely with the recipients to provide professional support; highlighting opportunities for networking and supporting the next steps of their writing careers.

At the end of seven months, the selected writers will have completed a feature screenplay or television pilot, which will be presented as a live, fully cast table read to an industry audience during a special LOCO event in Spring 2017.

The Betty and Peter List is 10 of the most exciting un-produced comedy writers that emerged from the application process. In addition to the four recipients, the list comprises six writers that the selection panel felt were exceptionally talented and deserving of industry recognition.

If you would like to get in touch with any of the writers directly, please contact Bradley Down,

The Four Recipients 




Agent: Christina Pickworth

Christine’s first script won the Funny Women Comedy Writing Award in 2011. She has since worked in the writers’ room for series five and six of Trollied, had a comedy feature shortlisted for iFeatures and been selected for BBC Writersroom’s 2015/16 Comedy Room. She was recently commissioned to write sketches for David Walliams and Tracey Ullman, and is currently being mentored by Andy




Laura initially wrote for the stage, before finding a love for screenplays in 2014, leading to her selection for the Barbican’s Young Film Programmer scheme. In 2015, Laura formed the female film collective Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah, which recently released its first web series. Laura freelances as a script reader for several production companies as she continues to develop her own original work.




Meryl has been performing as a stand-up comedienne since 2003, and in recent years has supported Frankie Boyle on his UK tours. Meryl’s original 2011 one-woman show, Bad Mother, received multiple five-star reviews at Edinburgh Fringe, and she is currently previewing her latest show, The Good Wife. Meryl continues to write for leading panel shows, whilst working on her original scripted material for television.




Sasha is a graduate of London Film School’s prestigious filmmaking MA and has written and directed six short films. Her most recent short, Lunch Date, screened at festivals worldwide including Aspen Shortsfest where it won a Special Jury Recognition Award. Sasha is currently in post on her debut comedy feature as a writer-director, Love Type D.

The Betty and Peter List

In recognition of the outstanding quality of submissions, CTBF is releasing The Betty and Peter List; 10 of the most exceptional un-produced comedy writers identified during the inaugural round of Betty and Peter.

Andrew Yerlett

Christine Robertson

Emma Nisbet

Laura Kirwan-Ashman

Louis Paxton

Meryl O’Rourke

Sasha Collington

Nathan Foad

Shelley Davenport

Sophia Di Martino

The Betty Box and Peter Rogers Comedy Writing Programme was launched in July and is given in honour of Betty Box and Peter Rogers, legendary producers of the Doctor and Carry On series. Placing writers at its centre, the programme recognises the need to support talented individuals so that they have the time and space to produce work which will resonate. In creating the Betty and Peter Programme, The CTBF is continuing its commitment to those working in the film and television industries who are talented and driven but who need support in order to develop their careers.

If you would like to receive updates about the Betty Box and Peter Rogers Comedy Writing Programme, as well as all other things LOCO, then please do visit the CONTACT page on our website and sign up to the LOCO newsletter.