His Dark Materials masterclass leads new sessions announced for this year's Edinburgh TV Festival

Other sessions include panels on; the future of PSBs, how younger audiences discover content and how footballers have conquered unscripted TV and in addition to a panel on the rise of True Crime, Sara Payne will give an exclusive interview on choosing to use TV as a platform to tell her story.


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 June the first sessions and speakers announced, with game-changers such as Rose Ayling-Ellis, are front and centre. Catch up on what was previously announced, here.


In a collaboration with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, His Dark Materials - Pushing Boundaries in New Worlds will take place at FilmHouse and will examine one of the most highly regarded works of imaginative fiction. His Dark Materials has united world-class acting, writing and production talent to bring Philip Pullman’s masterpiece to a global audience.


The Masterclass will be hosted by Nihal Arthanayake who'll be joined by Dafne Keen, Amir Wilson and Bad Wolf CEO and Executive Producer Jane Tranter, screenwriter Jack Thorne and director Amit Gupta. They'll discuss how they rose to the challenge of creating Pullman’s many worlds for TV audiences.


The session also promises to feature unseen and exclusive clips as well as behind-the-scenes footage from the third and final part of the trilogy.



For this year's Worldview Address, Chairman and CEO Paramount Premium Group and Chief Creative Officer Paramount+ Scripted Series David Nevins will take this prestigious slot which is one of the cornerstone interviews of the programme. The Worldview Address sees global changemakers in a discussion about the most pressing issues facing the television world and beyond.


David Nevins will take to the stage in his new role to discuss, with former SKY Studios boss, Jane Millichip, the current landscape of scripted content, his experiences in maximising creative ingenuity, talent relationships and IP, and whether the industry can sustain the influx of streamers both from a PSB and talent drain perspective.



A far cry from the days of management, punditry or pub landlord for the retired footballer, modern-day ex-players are becoming the go-to presenters of the unscripted genre. From daytime staples to hard-hitting documentaries or Saturday night shiny floor shows, audiences flock to shows featuring talent more used to making tackles than reading autocues.


In a session hosted by Charlie Webster, Unbelievable Geoff: How Footballers Conquered Unscripted TV, will attempt to find out why this is, by speaking to Troy Deeney, Dion Dublin and Anton Ferdinand about their own experiences of making the transition from the pitch to the small screen.


The current cost of living crisis and funding models for both broadcasters and indies will come under the spotlight in two significant debates that will bring into sharp focus the future of significant sectors of the industry.


At a time when the UK’s creative economy is a global success story and our public service broadcasters are sitting at the heart of this landscape, the intrinsic role of PSBs is being revised, questioned and threatened.


One of the most talked-about issues of this year is the debate about the role public service broadcasting can continue to play in the fast-moving, global, digital landscape.


In the Festival’s opening debate, The Future of PSBs, Mobeen Azhar will host a panel of British content production heavyweights including Patrick Holland, Jane Turton, Fatima Salaria, Jon Thoday, David Abraham and Pat Younge to discuss what these broadcasters can do to make themselves more relevant and punch through. Are the streamers too strong to compete with? Or are they starting to wobble?


As the UK faces a cost-of-living crisis that will have far-reaching implications for all households and businesses, the independent television sector prepares to face the oncoming storm, after already absorbing many costs that Covid caused.


In How to Avoid a World Without Indies, Gold Wala’s Faraz Osman will host a panel including Pact’s John McVay, Channel 4’s Rebecca Thorpe, Production Manager Kathryn Jein and Chalkboard’s Mike Benson.


Today's broadcasters are under renewed pressure to protect themselves financially, with inevitable consequences for programme budgets and squeezing some indies to near breaking point.


So, should we all be doing more to give real financial support to the true British independent sector? And how can all industry stakeholders work together to ensure we don’t end up in a world without indies?


With the appetite for TV content stronger than ever before, across all age groups and devices, how and where do younger audiences discover and recommend the shows that capture their imagination?


In Social Media Killed the TV Guides: How do Younger Audiences Discover Content, Rich Waterworth from TikTok, Dan Biddle from Meta, Anna-Lee Bridgstock from LadBible and Jane Stiller, ITV's CMO will discuss how viewers navigate a multitude of platforms to discover what they love when the traditional means of content discovery from EPG to TV Guides, are becoming outdated.


As streamers and broadcasters inhabit an increasingly crowded marketplace – and the metaverse beckons – where do younger viewers look for their TV recommendations, and who do they trust?


TV is surfing the true crime wave like never before. Every channel and streamer has crime as a core offering, and there appears to be an insatiable appetite among audiences for compelling real-life drama: from scammers and swindlers to serial killers.


In a session dedicated to the phenomenon that is the True Crime genre, Crime Pays: But at What Cost? will feature a panel of commissioners, producers, and other top TV professionals from across the industry taking a forensic look at the biggest issues around the true crime genre, from questions around sensationalism and sensitivity, to what the future looks like for true crime on TV.


At the heart of every true crime story are the victims and their families. In a companion session to the true crime panel, Sara Payne, mother of Sarah Payne whose death led to a seminal British crime case, will give an exclusive interview talking about her experience of choosing to use TV as a platform to tell her story.


In Covering the War in Ukraine, an international and highly experienced panel of journalists and news executives will discuss what key factors are shaping the global television news coverage of the war in Ukraine and examine whether it is being covered differently from past and present conflicts.


In an exclusive session delving into the world behind the scenes of high-fashion publishing, Perspectives from Outside TV: Vogue's Vanessa Kingori in Conversation with Elle's Kenya Hunt, will be chaired by Afua Hirsch, Condé Nast’s Chief Business Officer and the Editor-in-Chief of ELLE UK will discuss careers and personal perspectives of a business in the flux of change and what TV can learn from these two black female pioneers in an adjacent industry.


In an addition to the already announced raft of commissioning heads featuring in their own Spotlight On… sessions, Snap’s Head of International Original Series, Amanda Krentzman and UK Head of Partnerships, Lucy Luke, will discuss their new direction in content commissioning, discussing strategy, and revealing what’s on their shopping list for the forthcoming 12 months.


The Spotlight On… line-up also includes Anne Mensah, Charlotte Moore, Dan Grabiner, Fiona Campbell, Georgia Brown, Ian Katz, Kate Townsend, Kevin Lygo, Marcus Arthur and many more.


And finally, festival favourite Ben Frow, Chief Content Officer, UK, Paramount, will take part in Secrets of Scheduling, a unique interactive event, in which he will lift the lid on how Channel 5 really works and lay bare the dark arts of scheduling.


In an attempt to encourage producers to think ‘less like commissioners, and more like schedulers’, he’ll ask the audience to help him fill a week of the Channel 5 schedule with a selection of real programme titles, in a dry-run of the channel’s regular ‘Week To Press’ meeting.


Passes for this year’s Festival are available to purchase here with the standard rate expiring on 1st August.