Opportunity For Writers : Gaelic Sitcom Development

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Opportunity For Writers : Gaelic Sitcom Development


Gaelic television has had a string of popular and critical successes with sketch-based comedy. From the grandaddy of them all, Ran Dan, to the recent award-winning FUNC, sketch shows have been making Gaelic audiences laugh for decades.

We now want to develop a different kind of comedy – a Gaelic sitcom. Instead of a compilation of short pieces, we’re looking for a narrative format with a distinctive setting, a cast of fully-formed, relatable characters, and plotlines that sustain across 29 minutes.

This call-out is for writers to create and submit original Gaelic sitcom ideas. Successful applicants will be commissioned to develop a pilot script.

Here are some pointers:


Our goal is to create a contemporary comedy with warmth, heart and cross-generational appeal – a genuinely funny show with big characters that will appeal to the widest possible Gaelic audience.


We’re looking for that little bit of magic that will make people laugh. The situation should be funny, the dialogue should be funny, the characters and their relationships should be funny. We’re looking for a sitcom not a sadcom!


We want to be able to love the characters – or to be able to love something about them. A charismatic, resonant, central character – or a compelling relationship – should be at the heart of the piece.


We’re open to all types of sitcom. Whether it’s an off-the-wall, character-led comedy like Stath Lets Flats, a deadpan mockumentary like This Country, or a classic studio-based show like Not Going Out – the idea will be considered purely on its potential to appeal to a mainstream audience.


We’re looking for ideas that have the potential to be developed to a 29-minute pilot script. There should be a clear sense of how the idea can be developed to a series. The idea should also have the potential to be returnable.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Send us an outline that gives a clear sense of the basic situation/setting, the characters and potential story lines. No need to send us a full script.
  • This is a call-out for writers working in the Gaelic language. We are not looking for ideas that have been originated in another language, or that require translation.
  • Individual writers are welcome – as are writing partnerships or collaborations. In the latter case, one of the writers might not necessarily work primarily in Gaelic.
  • This is a call-out for original ideas. Ideas that have previously been submitted to BBC ALBA, and which have been formally rejected, will not be considered.
  • Rights to writers’ ideas need to be freely available.


Submission Process

Please submit an outline of the idea (situation, characters, storylines) as well as a CV.

Deadline for submission – Monday 28th February 2022 , 5pm

Deadline for MG ALBA/BBC partnership decisions – Friday 1st April 2022, 5pm

Submissions should be sent to: claire.macdonald@bbc.co.uk

If you have any questions please contact Bill Macleod at bill.macleod@mgalba.com

What Happens Next

Once we’ve received submissions we may suggest writers do a certain amount of unpaid development. This is so that ideas are shaped to a point where they can be fairly assessed.

We may also follow up with one-to-one conversations to explore

writers’ ideas more fully.

BBC ALBA’s commissioning team will then select an idea (or ideas) to go into paid development.

At this point we would hope to partner the successful writer (or writers) with an independent production company with a track record in comedy production. The aim would be to provide the very best editorial support in guiding and shaping a pilot script – while preserving the cultural and linguistic nuances essential to successful Gaelic comedy.

Further information

We like to talk – so please talk to us! If you need any further information, or just want to chat about this opportunity, please get in touch with Bill Macleod: bill.macleod@mgalba.com