Full programme revealed

The full 2015 Festival has now been revealed and will include a one-on-one interview with Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale MP.

Whittingdale will face questions from journalist and ITN newsreader Alastair Stewart about BBC charter renewal, the licence fee, and about whether privatisation is on the agenda for Channel 4.

Advisory Chair, Zai Bennett, said: “We are delighted that the new Culture Secretary is coming to the TV Festival in its 40th Anniversary year. There are few MPs more knowledgeable about the media than John Whittingdale, and I’m sure the industry will be excited to hear his views on issues ranging from the impending charter renewal, to discussions on privatisation. This really is a session not to be missed.”

Other ‘appointment-to-view’ sessions include: additions to the US Gamechangers sessions, Paul Lee and Paul Buccieri; a Masterclass with Channel 4’s The Last Leg; a one-on-one with Nicola Shindler; and Peter Kosminsky and SJ Clarkson, discuss the changing roles of directors.

Joining the stellar guest line-up of US gamechangers is Paul Lee, President ABC Entertainment Group, who will be interviewed by Sony Pictures’ Chief Creative Officer of International Production Wayne Garvie, and Paul Buccieri, President A+E who will answer questions from All3Media’s Managing Director, Jane Turton.

The Last Leg is the focus of a Masterclass, with Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker joining host Rick Edwards. “If the Paralympics is covered well, it can change the way Jim Davidson looks at and treats people with disabilities”, so said The Last Leg host Adam Hills. Both The Games and Hills’ Channel 4 series went on to enjoy huge successes, and whether or not Davidson is a changed man, the latter has prompted an important discussion around how disability and comedy can be combined to make mainstream, entertaining and talked-about TV.

As broadcasters boost their efforts to improve diversity, Rick Edwards talks to “the three guys with four legs,” who may have started by bringing disability into the mainstream, but have evolved to become award-winning satirical commentators in their own right. We find out how they did that, and answer the crucial question #isitok?

In the Hit factory or happy accidents? session, Nicola Shindler, founder and executive producer at Red Production, talks to Martha Kearney about Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Prey and Cucumber; which are among the most talked-about programmes of recent years, about the balance of being both award-winning and audience-pleasing. Shindler will discuss how she has developed and delivered ground-breaking shows and returning brands, as well as forging long-standing and productive relationships with a stellar line-up of talent. Shindler will also discuss upcoming series including The Five, and the future growth of the company following the sale of a majority stake to Studio Canal in 2013.

Two celebrated British television directors, Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall, The Government Inspector) and SJ Clarkson (Dig, Marvel’s AKA Jessica Jones, Dexter) will discuss the changing role of the director both in the UK, Europe, and in the US. Looking at examples of recent work, they discuss their role in the creative process, and the relationship with writer, producer, showrunner and broadcaster. Sponsored by Creative Skillset, the session looks at how directors face greater scrutiny of their work, and whether opportunities for emerging directing talent is diminishing as the scale of productions grows.

EastEnder’s Kellie Bright joins the soap session. Best known for her role as Linda Carter in BBC One’s EastEnders, Kellie will join Coronation Street’s Sally Ann Matthews in the TV Festival’s All TV is Soap panel. Hosted by David Liddiment, they will talk about what it’s like to be in and involved with such legendary programmes, and the fame and public expectation that comes associated with it meanwhile producers from Emmerdale, EastEnders, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, will discuss what’s next for the genre in terms of script writing and production challenges.

Detectives from critically-acclaimed police series, The Detectives and 24 Hours in Police Custody join the Cops on Camera session. Delegates will hear from those at the heart of the action, Detective Sergeant Carol Barlow, Greater Manchester Police with Minnow Films producer Colin Barr and Bedfordshire Police’s Detective Constable Martin Hart with Alisa Pomeroy, Series Director, 24 Hours in Police Custody.

BBC TV and Radio presenter, Dan Walker, hosts this year’s EdTalks line-up. The popular session returns with inspiring speakers expressing their thoughts around the theme of talent, whether it’s exploring how to find and nurture talent; facilitating creative cultures for talent to thrive in, or retaining talent given the rise of new online players. Speakers include The BRIT School principle Stuart Worden, ABC Studios’ SVP comedy development Amy Hartwick, VSauce creator and host Michael Stevens, and internationally-touring poet, playwright, and performer Inua Ellams.

Kay Burley, Sky news anchor and co-presenter of the UK’s 2015 Cameron & Miliband Live pre-election debate, will host Edinburgh’s first Leaders-style debate with the bosses of the major channels – Danny Cohen (BBC), Jay Hunt (Channel 4), Stuart Murphy, (Sky), Ben Frow (Channel 5) and Peter Fincham (ITV).

In SCORE! How music can help turn your TV show into a hit! session, delegates hear how the right music can help transform a good TV show into a great one.
Oscar, BAFTA and Emmy winning composers Michael Price (Sherlock, The Inbetweeners Movie, Hot Fuzz), Dru Masters (The Apprentice, Undercover Boss, The Unteachables), and Anne Dudley (Poldark, The Full Monty, Les Miserables) lift the (piano) lid on what makes a great score, and how to create an iconic TV moment.

Award-winning format Come Dine With Me gets a unique twist for Edinburgh with a line-up of TV’s big cheeses. Nigel Hall, Lorraine Heggessey, Jonathan Stadlen and Jamie Munro will duke it out for the Come Dine With Me crown, in possibly the wildest episode yet. Alongside the fine food and expensive wine, our contributors try to outdo each other with some particularly creative themes, not to mention fiddlers, gold hotpants, celebrity guests…and possibly some nudity. Guests will be invited to the stage to score each other’s efforts, and no doubt the knives will be out…

Festival Director, Lisa Campbell, said: “This year’s line-up is a true reflection and celebration of the multi-genre, global industry that we work in. We’re delighted with the breadth of content that is on offer – and there are still more announcements to come!”