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rising star Irish comedian Grace Mulvey wins prestigious BBC competition

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Grace Mulvey

Grace Mulvey

Grace Mulvey

A RISING Irish comedian has beaten off 2,500 others from across the UK and Ireland to win a prestigious BBC competition.

Dubliner Grace Mulvey (31) won a £5,500 (€6,120) bursary for the inaugural Galton and Simpson comedy award.

The bursary is collaboration between the BBC and the Mental Health Foundation and is named after the late Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, who are probably best known as the writers of Steptoe And Son.

Grace, from Rathfarnham, is a stand-up comedian, who started her comedy career performing at Mob Theatre in Dublin as part of the improv team Mr Me Cocos and is also a writer and actor in sketch comedy double act Curved Comedy.

She was a finalist in the Vodafone Irish Comedian of the Year 2017 and was the headline act for the opening night of the comedy section of Electric Picnic before being included in Funny Women’s Ones to Watch 2019.

”I am absolutely floored and beyond delighted to have won this bursary,” a chuffed Grace said. “Galton and Simpson epitomised the idea that comedy can be found in the toughest of times and we need comedy now more than ever. My dream of being a comedy writer now feels real.”

Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, says: “Grace has achieved that winning combo of writing a raucously funny script first and foremost as well as shining a fresh light on areas and themes in life comedy hasn’t delved in to before. She’s a tremendously exciting new voice and a deserving recipient of the inaugural bursary in the name of two of comedy’s founding fathers.”

“I’ve been doing stand up and improve for probably about five years now, on off,” Grace, who has a day job in admiration for a tech company, tells the Sunday World.

“The last few years I’ve gotten a bit more serious about it. I recently opened for Joanne McNally and Deirdre O’Kane, that was quite big for me.”

She has been doing imrov in the likes of the International Bar, the Comedy Celler, and Stag’s Head.

Asked where she sources her material she replies: “I suppose my own life. I suppose being a woman. Modern life gives me material. Relationships, there’s always so much to get from ex relationships or just current relationships or anything like that’s, that’s where I get a lot of my material as well (she’s single).”

She adds: “It was also a series development plan, so it was a lot of work because you had to prove that not only that you had a good pilot and a good idea for a show but you had planned how that show would go as well for an entire series,” she explains. “It just involved contacting the BBC with it, entering it. Then when I found out I was in the finals I had to do an interview process with the BBC as well and sort of discuss why I wrote it and what I would do with it and the plans Id have and things like that

“It’s just kind of more a mentorship with the BBC and for them to help you in the industry and hopefully to get a pilot or a TV show made. But really it’s more of a mentorship and investing in new talent.”

She admits she would love to follow in the footsteps of Sharon Horgan, who has become a huge flag bearer for Irish comedy on British TV.

“Obviously that’s the dream,” she confesses “She has the dream career that anyone would aspire to.

“At the end of the day it has been my dream to write and be in a TV show of my show of my own, so me the dream for me is really getting better at this and getting something made out of it.”

“It’s for a pilot whom the BBC will help me and work with me on it and help me maybe get my foot in the door in a few places in the UK where I can hopefully get this made,”

Grace was announced as the winner on Friday.

“I had a Covid celebration, which was me drinking a bottle of Prosecco watching the toy show,” she laughs.

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