BBC COMEDY has today announced that stand-up comedian Athena Kugblenu is the recipient of this year’s Felix Dexter bursary scheme.
The six-month bursary, run by BBC Comedy supported by BBC Writers Room is awarded to aspiring comedy writers, with the aim of making a positive intervention to address an under-representation of BAME professionals in comedy production in broadcasting. She will be based in BBC offices across the UK whilst on the bursary.
Now in its third year, the Felix Dexter Bursary is designed to find writers with a fresh, unique point of view and the potential to help shape the future of comedy. It is open to black, Asian and other ethnic minority writers or writing duos who are aged 18 or over.
Kugblenu is a stand-up comedian and emerging comedy writer. In 2015, she was the BBC New Comedian of the Year finalist.
Her stand-up style leads with intelligent, topical and thought-provoking jokes, with an edgy sting. Her first solo show, KMT, played the Edinburgh Fringe to four and five-star reviews, as did her 2018 follow-up Follow The Leader. Both featured in The Guardian, The Independent and The Telegraph’s best jokes compilations.
As a regular co-host on The Guilty Feminist podcast, Athena is an exciting voice bringing her unique perspective on the subjects of race, gender and how equality shapes our modern lives. Athena is prominent on twitter and has also written content for Time Out and Stylist Magazine where she brilliantly showcases her wit and wisdom both online and in print.
Kugblenu said: “I’m thrilled and a little bit stunned to be awarded this bursary, especially one in the name of a indisputable comedy genius. This is a huge opportunity to develop my comedy writing and further my career, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Sarah Asante, BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: “We’re very excited to welcome Athena to the 3rd year of the Felix Dexter Bursary and hope that the training on offer leads to finding her voice and cementing her place in the scripted world.”