Media release: Edinburgh International Television Festival announces schedule


THE Edinburgh International Television Festival – brought to you by YouTube and BT – has announced a schedule that places a premium on new information, giving delegates a privileged insight in to some of TV’s most inspiring names, shows and stories.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Lauren Laverne, Nick Grimshaw, Rio Ferdinand, Sue Perkins, Evan Davis, Edith Bowman, Kirsty Wark, Mark Gordon, Anna Richardson, June Sarpong, Danielle Ward… all feature in the initial line-up of names announced.

Advisory chair, Diederick Santer, said: “I want the delegates to be inspired, to learn something new, to be told something they don’t know.

“So, in every session, I want us to consider, what’s the new information here, what’s the privileged insight that this panellist or interviewee is giving us and what can we learn from them?

“I’m really proud of the breadth of original content that the Festival is delivering this year.”

The long-standing Meet the Controller sessions will see a shake-up this year with a raft of new presenters, including top BBC broadcasters, Lauren Laverne and Nick Grimshaw.

In addition to the familiar one-on-one interview format with more than ten key controllers including BBC One’s Charlotte Moore, channels are also invited to showcase their shows, teams and talent to better highlight what sets them apart from rivals.

Laverne will come face-to-face with ITV’s Kevin Lygo, Grimshaw will talk to BBC Three’s Damian Kavanagh about the channel’s first full year online, while Patrick Holland will discuss his vision for BBC Two with television presenter, June Sarpong.

Cassian Harrison will speak to television presenter and journalist, Ranvir Singh, about BBC Four, and broadcaster and journalist, Sam Nazwill, head up the ITV Digital session.

Controllers from Channel 4, Channel 5, UKTV and Sky also form part of the line-up.

Festival director, Lisa Campbell, said of this 42nd Television Festival: “As well as welcoming back some of the most influential figures in our industry, we’ll hear from newer players such as Snapchat who are making the move into original content.

“We’ll have more international speakers with a new US and Chinese buyers strand and our diverse schedule will cover everything from fake news to true crime; talent management to crisis management, social media to satire.”

Edinburgh TV Fest 2017 is launching with a very special version of TV classic, Blue Peter, so sticky back plastic at the ready!

A line-up of TV execs will be put through their paces as they go through the legendary presenter audition process, including a rigorous outdoor challenge, a ‘make’ live on-stage and culminating in the iconic test of interviewing whilst trampolining.

Execs will be judged by famous members of the Blue Peter team, past and present.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge will be sharing her views on the meteoric rise of Fleabag in a comedy masterclass with Fleabag script editor and director, Vicky Jones.

The session, will look at how this global sensation has put its creator at the forefront of a new generation of female writer-performers.

Meanwhile, with 20m social media followers, Rio Ferdinand joins a BT Sport panel to consider how to capitalise on a fan base to benefit your brand. This digital masterclass will look at how sport is leading the way with innovative content around their rights to successfully reach increasingly fragmented audiences.

Edinburgh is known as the place where the major debates happen and this year, the festival is dedicating a key session to the memory of the late broadcaster, producer and Edinburgh committee member and chair, Steve Hewlett.

The Steve Hewlett Debate: Fake News will feature a panel of senior news bosses and online players to discuss one of the most challenging issues facing the media industry and politics more widely.

The festival is as famous for its networking as it is for its agenda-setting content, and this year there are more opportunities than ever to meet and do business with top names across the industry, and to hear the very latest global commissioning opportunities.

In addition to the iconic Meet the Controller sessions, the ever-popular Speed Meetings return, where delegates can sit down with commissioning editors, senior talent managers, distributors and more, for short pre-booked meetings.

The new-look festival app will allow delegates to not only engage live with sessions, but also to connect with each other.

And in our new Meet the US and China Buyers strand, delegates can discover all the latest creative and commercial opportunities from leading buyers looking to do business with UK producers.

One of the most packed and popular sessions, the Leaders’ Debate is unique in bringing together the heads of the UK’s leading channels to discuss the industry’s most pressing issues.

In this, its third year, journalist, presenter and economist Evan Davis will preside over a new approach to the debate: one of high level, Davos-style strategic insight, emphasising the joint challenges and opportunities which lie ahead for channel heads from BBC, ITV, C4, C5 and Sky.

From My Dad Wrote a Porno to Serial, a series of international hits have raised podcasts from niche to mainstream and with a highly-engaged audience of young urban listeners.

Radio presenter and award-winning podcaster, Edith Bowman, asks a panel of leading talent how they’ve tested and developed ideas in this low-risk environment to discover the golden rules of podcasting. She’ll also be asking the big question about the platform: you can be creative, but can you make money? With a panel including Danielle Ward (Do the Right Thing), and Jay Blumenfield (The Jay and Tony Show).

The festival is putting digital and OTT platforms at the heart of the event as the media landscape continues to evolve. Alongside Netflix execs, Amazon is set to make a return for the third consecutive year and Snapchat is to make its first appearance at the festival with vice-president of Content, Snap Inc, Nick Bell, delivering a keynote interview.

Bell has been instrumental in building and growing Snapchat’s Discover platform since he joined Snap Inc in April 2014. In this one-on-one interview, he will give delegates an insight into Snap’s strategy for creating premium content for a mobile-first audience.

The Gamechanger strand, returns for a third year featuring a stellar line-up of top executives from Comedy Central, Nat Geo Global Networks and The Mark Gordon Company, with more names still to be announced.

Names include: Kent Alterman, Comedy Central president, who will discuss how he works with creator-driven talent including Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer and Trevor Noah to produce hit shows; Courteney Monroe, National Geographic Global Networks CEO who is behind global hits such as MARS and award-winning TV and film producer, Mark Gordon, CEO of The Mark Gordon Company, and executive producer behind global successes such as Grey’s Anatomy and Ray Donovan.

Elsewhere, the festival will assess what happens when a production begins to spiral out of control and leads to a full-blown press crisis. Prash Naik, Channel 4’s General Counsel hosts this illuminating session which tests how a panel of producers and broadcasters cope with a production issue when the heat is turned up – and up – and up!

An entertaining session with a live, unfolding crisis, outlining the do’s and don’ts of crisis management.

Satire will also be in the spotlight given the uncertain political climate we find ourselves in. When the news is increasingly bizarre and even funny, how can you be funny about the news? Is it possible to be satirical in the age of Fake News, Alternative Facts, et al, and can satire be effective in a climate when people take offence so easily?

The Edinburgh TV Festival has built a reputation on being the place where delegates can hear industry leaders in honest and open peer-to-peer conversation.

This year, the festival welcomes Studio Lambert boss, Stephen Lambert, and co-founder of Expectation, Tim Hicks, who share their views on success, failure and how to crack the US amongst many other topics.

Kirsty Wark presents the annual Edinburgh special of Question Time where a line-up of TV execs will answer questions on the hot topics facing television.

From set-piece factual to box-set drama, we’re all hooked on True Crime … but why? Our True Crime session looks at how you go about finding a killer story and asks what are the differences between factual and drama when it comes to depicting real events?

Entertainment is making a comeback and with new bosses heading up this all-important genre across the key channels, this is a session not to be missed. We’ll be asking each for their commissioning wish lists, plus asking them to create their money-no-object, ideal entertainment schedule, using shows from the past, present and future.

The prestigious Edinburgh TV Awards celebrates its 16th year.

The highly-coveted awards form one of the highlights of the TV Festival calendar, celebrating the creative and innovative choices that broadcasters and production companies both at home and abroad present to the public every year.

Channel of the Year, Production Company of the Year, Factual Programme of the Year, New Programme of the Year, which will be open to international productions airing on British television or available to download or stream, and Best International Co-Production, which will recognise a co-production project which has had a creative and cultural impact in its respective territories.

As a festival and a charity, the Edinburgh International Television Festival is committed to helping young people from all backgrounds gain access to the TV industry. It runs two young talent schemes: Ones to Watch and The Network.

Both schemes aim to ensure that the people working in television are as diverse as the audience watching it.

For more information log on to To join the conversation please use #edtvfest

Follow us on Twitter on @thetvfestival or on Instagram EdinburghTVFest

For more press information, please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 or 07801 321965.


MEDIA RELEASE issued by Plank PR. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on this site. Email here for more information.

Check out for your very own media releases feed…

Check out too, and

Stay connected with our various twitter feeds: CharitiesDrinkEducationEnergyFashionFilmFoodGardensLegalMotorsMusicOutdoorsPropertyScience and Sports. And not forgetting FinanceTheatreTravelFestivalsVisual ArtsAberdeenDundeeEdinburghGlasgowInvernessPerth and Stirling.

Plank PR contact details…

Contact: Victoria Hartley-Wilson