Media release: Controller Sessions line-up announced for Edinburgh TV Festival


THE ever-popular Controller Sessions have been confirmed for the Edinburgh Television Festival with top presenters discussing in one-to-one interviews the channel’s strategy, as well as offering them the opportunity to convey both their commissioning needs and their unique brand identities, it was announced today (TUES).

Journalist, broadcaster and television presenter, Fiona Phillips, will interview BBC One’s Charlotte Moore; while television, radio and podcast presenter, Edith Bowman, speaks to BBC Two and BBC Four’s Patrick Holland and Cassian Harrison; news broadcaster, Sarah-Jane Mee goes head-to-head with ITV’s Kevin Lygo; and writer, presenter and broadcaster Sue Perkins quizzes UKTV’s Richard Watsham, Hilary Rosen and Steve North.

BBC One is the UK’s most-watched television channel and after another successful year of award-wins and talked-about shows, from Blue Planet II to Three Girls, journalist, broadcaster and television presenter, Fiona Phillips meets Charlotte Moore and the key players in her team to take a look at the future of the channel’s content.

Charlotte and her team will share exclusive clips of upcoming shows, reveal what they want next, and share with the room how best to get your next big idea onto BBC One. To ensure that all genres are covered, Charlotte will be joined by controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen, Alison Kirkham, controller of factual commissioning, Piers Wenger, controller of drama commissioning and Kate Phillips controller of entertainment commissioning.

Patrick Holland and Cassian Harrison take to the stage to outline the vision and wish lists for BBC Two and BBC Four respectively.

This specially-extended 75 minute-session will see Holland take to the stage first for a one-on-one with television, radio and podcast presenter Edith Bowman, followed by a separate interview with Harrison.
Both channels have had successful years. On Two, highlights include the modern epic rendition of King Lear starring Sir Anthony Hopkins; the viral success of The Mash Report and comedy courtesy of Philomena Cunk and Frankie Boyle as well as the continued success of Scandi hit The Bridge.

On BBC Four, Global Voices and Perspectives BBC Four brings quality international factual content to a British audience, alongside the peerless Storyville as well as The Detectorists achieving cult status. There was also the channel’s incredible The Vietnam War, which was some ten years in the making; standout history and arts programming including a major season on the Art and Culture of Japan as well as drama such as crime thriller, Hidden.

It’s been a robust year for the ITV portfolio: share is up with impressive performances from key drama launches, Liar and Trauma, the rebooted Dancing on Ice and even Good Morning Britain putting in a good show for the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster.

News broadcaster, Sarah-Jane Mee, joins ITV’s Kevin Lygo in his return to Edinburgh to give us the inside track on his formula for growth in these changing times.

And riding high on the record-breaking success of gamechanger, Love Island, ITV Digital’s Paul Mortimer will talk us through his strategy and shopping list for the year ahead.

UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in Britain and increased investment in UKTV Originals will see it reach a significant milestone in 2019, spending more on original programming than any other content supply for the first time. With ten channels, UKTV Play, 100 shows in the pipeline, and new genres, such as drama, being added to a long list of needs there are more opportunities for producers than ever before. Writer, presenter and broadcaster, Sue Perkins, will meet UKTV’s director of commissioning, Richard Watsham and deputy director, Hilary Rosen, and genre general manager for comedy and entertainment, Steve North, as they share their plans and reveal where those opportunities lie.

Advisory chair, Phil Edgar-Jones, said: “After another stand-out year in broadcasting, this year’s controller sessions will not only deliver great presenter names who promise to ask those burning questions, but they will also give delegates an inside look into the team, wishlists and future plans of all the major broadcasters.”

Last month, the TV Festival announced, as part of Fantastic Friday, that Channel 4 controller, Ian Katz, will go head-to-head with ITV News political editor, Robert Peston; and broadcaster and comedy writer, Clive Anderson, will meet Channel 5’s Ben Frow, and earlier on in the Festival schedule, broadcaster Lauren Laverne will come face-to-face with Sky’s Zai Bennett and broadcaster Alice Levine will be in discussion with BBC Three’s Damian Kavanagh.

As a festival and a charity, the Edinburgh 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 Follow us on Twitter on @EdinburghTVFest or on Instagram EdinburghTVFest

For more press information please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936.

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