Former Bearsden Academy pupil up for top comedy awards

A former pupil at Bearsden Academy has been shortlisted for two prestigious comedy awards.

Comedian Zara Janjua is a former pupil at Bearsden Academy

Scottish-Pakistani comedian Zara Janjua is in the running for two “Funny Women” awards - the Comedy Writing Award, sponsored by Sky Studios and is also up for the Comedy Shorts Awards 2021, sponsored by NextUp Comedy.

Funny Women is an industry platform for women looking to break into comedy. So far, more than 4,000 talented comics have taken part in 17 competitions, and their alumni include, Sarah Millican, Zoe Lyons, Sarah Pasco and Katherine Ryan.

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Comedy writer Zara entered a pilot for her sitcom ‘Doulas’, a story about a Scottish-Pakistani Muslim news presenter who is having baby through a sperm bank.

The former STV News presenter turned to comedy in 2016 and won a spot in the BBC Comedy Writers Room, ITV 50:50 Female Pilot Club and was recently runner-up for comedy writing with the David Nobbs Memorial Trust.

She said: “I am genuinely thrilled to be on the shortlist for these two awards, alongside some incredibly talented women. The awards are an exciting platform for women and help to create opportunities for us in the industry.”

In 2018 a study revealed that less than 11% of comedy on TV in the UK is written by women.

Zara said: “I wanted to be part of the solution and break into the boy’s club. The industry is dominated by white, middle-aged, privately-educated men.”

Finalists will be announced on September 14.