Festival History

The Edinburgh International Television Festival is an annual media event in the UK each August which brings together all parts of the television and digital world to debate the major issues facing the industry.

The Festival draws about 2,000 delegates from the major networks and production companies internationally.

Although the festival operates in Edinburgh, its headquarters are in London.

Over the years, the Festival has attracted some of the world’s most significant industry figures – including Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner, Ricky Gervais, Vince Gilligan, Tessa Ross, Jamie Oliver, Simon Cowell, Ted Sarandos and Elisabeth Murdoch, as well as people from related fields such as Al Gore and Germaine Greer.

Established in 1976, the Festival takes place every August at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre concurrently with the Edinburgh International Festival, and similar events, in the city. The Edinburgh International Television Festival remains the only event both run by and for the television industry as the Festival is governed by its Executive and Advisory committees. The Festival is a charitable organisation with a mission to identify and nurture the next generation of talent, whatever their background.

The Festival run two talent schemes – “The Network” which gives brand new entrants a vital first step into the TV and digital industries while “Ones to Watch” supports those at the early stages of their career. Both benefit from fully funded places at the Festival, which include tailored workshops, masterclasses and networking. Year-round mentoring, training and events are also offered.

The Festival also runs other events throughout the year with the aim of engaging and inspiring the TV industry, these range from our punchy and provocative EdTalks lectures to Q & A’s with channel bosses from across the globe.

The Festival is best known for its keynote address: the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture. The lecture features speeches from leading media figures connected with British and international television over more than 40 years.

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