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First speakers announced for this year's Edinburgh Television Festival

Speakers include Succession's Brian Cox, Heartstopper's Kit Connor and Alice Osman, Rose Matafeo, Dolly Alderton, Richard Osman and the cast of Ghosts.

Led by 2022 Advisory Chair, Afua Hirsch, this year’s Edinburgh Television Festival, taking place for three days from 24th August, will return to an in-person event in Edinburgh and in the first sessions and speakers announced, game-changers are front and centre; including the recently announced Alternative MacTaggart speaker, Rose Ayling-Ellis.

The multi-award-winning actor, Brian Cox, will be discussing his career in an in depth-interview which will give an insight into the Scot’s thoughts on US vs UK drama, identity and his working-class roots as well as what it’s like to portray one of the most iconic characters on contemporary TV in Succession’s Logan Roy.

Comedian, writer and actor, and creator of the critically acclaimed Starstruck, Rose Matafeo, will be in conversation with journalist, author and screenwriter, Dolly Alderton, whose Everything I Know About Love hits the BBC this week.

In a frank and funny peer-to-peer conversation, Rose and Dolly will discuss the creative process of bringing their work to the small screen and share their experiences of life in TV and beyond.

The Masterclass thread will feature a popular modern classic, a Gen Z phenomenon and Disney+’s first UK drama original.

Ghosts, the BBC’s hugely popular comedy from the team behind Horrible Histories and Yonderland, has entertained audiences for three seasons and a fourth series on the way, with its most unusual of house-share sitcom premises.

Cast and producers will discuss how they took the “boredom of eternity” and created a hit comedy which has sold across the globe.

Netflix’s break out hit, Heartstopper, has won the hearts of a generation with a coming-of-age romance, creating stars of its young cast. Creator and author Alice Oseman will be joined by Executive Producer Patrick Walters and breakout starKit Connor, with more cast joining the panel to be announced very soon.

There will also be a chance for delegates to take an exclusive deep dive into Disney+’s first UK-originated drama Wedding Season and hear from cast members and the team behind it.

Topical and industry insight sessions will examine the issues that are front and centre for the industry right now with Patrick Holland chairing a session on Funding Factual Programming. Formats World Tour will take a visual tour of the big entertainment formats that have become hits in different territories across the world and former Festival staffer and podcast Queen, Jackie Adedeji will take a look at the rise and rise of the podcast and how they are influencing TV in Sonic Boom.

Elsewhere, Richard Osman will lead a panel dissecting the future of big entertainment shows in Saturday Night’s Alright?, Life Beyond TV will see a panel of ex-TV professionals from across the spectrum discuss the reasons why people are leaving the industry and Why Do We Still Need Commissioners? sees digital talent, studios and traditional commissioners exploring the role and relevance of commissioners in this new age of self-broadcasting.

Also, Adjani Salmon and Genevieve Barr will be part of a powerhouse panel discussing how to ensure diverse talent and stories are properly represented in drama.

The Festival’s refreshed flagship controller sessions Spotlight On… will return featuring interviews with creative content chiefs from broadcasters and streamers.

Creative chiefs from platforms including Amazon, BBC, C4, Disney, ITV, Netflix, Sky, UKTV, and their commissioning teams, will discuss their vision for their channels and platforms as well as addressing wider industry issues. The line-up includes Georgia Brown and Dan Grabiner, Charlotte Moore and BBC Three Controller Fiona Campbell, Ian Katz, Kevin Lygo, Anne Mensah, Kate Townsend, Marcus Arthur and many more.


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