The Beano, the UK's beloved and longest-running comic, is embarking on a quest to discover the nation's most uproarious primary school class.
With its "Britain's Funniest Class" competition, The Beano invites schools and teachers from all corners of the country to participate by sharing their finest jokes and gags.
Entries will undergo scrutiny, with the top contenders advancing to a public vote. The class with the most votes will receive the prestigious honor of being "immortalised" in a special edition of The Beano.
This endeavor coincides with the 70th anniversary of one of The Beano's iconic strips, the Bash Street Kids, featuring beloved characters like Plug, Danny, and Scotty.
Now in its sixth year, the competition aims not only to unearth budding comedians but also to foster confidence and well-being within classrooms.
The Beano has joined forces with Place2Be, a children's mental health charity, to launch this initiative, recognizing the importance of humor in promoting positive mental health among young people.
Winning students will have the unique opportunity to be illustrated by Beano artists, marking a historic moment in the comic's legacy as real children grace its pages for the first time.
Inspired by a school adjacent to the offices of the publishers in Dundee, the Bash Street Kids have captured the essence of British childhood for seven decades.
Their enduring appeal lies in their individuality, serving as a wellspring of inspiration for Britain's Funniest Class, with this year's theme being "Express Yourself."
Mike Stirling, Director of Mischief at The Beano, expressed enthusiasm for the competition's launch, emphasizing the celebration of uniqueness embodied by the Bash Street Kids.
Stirling hopes the characters inspire this year's participants to embrace their individuality and unleash their creativity through humor.
Last year's winners, Greasley Beauvale Primary School in Nottinghamshire, attest to the transformative power of laughter within the classroom.
Headteacher Michelle Bates recalls how rallying together for the common goal of humor bolstered confidence and creativity among students.
Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be, highlights the significance of fun and laughter in fostering self-expression, confidence, and overall well-being.
Roche expresses pride in partnering with The Beano to spread joy and laughter to classrooms nationwide.
In a nod to the pivotal role educators play in shaping young minds, The Beano also seeks to crown Britain's funniest teacher for the first time, recognizing their invaluable contribution to student development.
The launch of these competitions coincides with Children's Mental Health Week, underscoring the importance of laughter and positivity in nurturing young minds.
As The Beano embarks on its quest to find Britain's funniest class and teacher, it champions the timeless values of humor, creativity, and well-being in education.