Festival Programme

Controller Sessions

Wednesday 23rd August

Meet the Controller: Jay Hunt, Channel 4

Wednesday 23rd August 13:45 - 14:45

VENUE: The Pentland, Level 3

CHAIR: Boyd Hilton, entertainment director Heat Magazine

SPEAKERS: Jay Hunt, chief creative officer Channel 4; John Hay, head of specialist factual, Channel 4; Beth Willis, head of drama Channel 4; Fiona McDermott, head of comedy Channel 4

Chief creative officer of Channel 4, Jay Hunt, takes to the stage with a number of awards under her belt, including Channel of the Year from both Broadcast and Edinburgh.


Meet the Controller: Kevin Lygo, ITV

Wednesday 23rd August 15:30 - 16:30

VENUE: The Pentland, Level 3

CHAIR: Lauren Laverne, broadcaster

SPEAKERS: Kevin Lygo, director of television ITV; Sue Murphy, head of factual entertainment ITV; Siobhan Greene, head of entertainment  ITV

Just over a year into the job, ITV's Director of Television Kevin Lygo, has certainly delivered on the promise to take risks and shake-up the broadcaster's schedule. But with criticism as well as praise leveled at some of those risks, Kevin will talk frankly about the success of The Voice and the ongoing plan to expand Saturday night entertainment, taking Coronation Street six times a week and what he really thinks about The Nightly Show. With commercial television under pressure from all sides, is innovation in factual or entertainment ever an objective?


Meet the Controller: Patrick Holland, BBC 2

Wednesday 23rd August 10:00 - 11:00

VENUE: The Sidlaw, Level 3

CHAIR: June Sarpong, presenter, campaigner

SPEAKERS: Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two; Tom McDonald, head of natural history & specialist factual commissioning BBC; Clare Sillery, head of commissioning, documentaries BBC; Pinki Chambers, entertainment commissioning editor BBC; Alex Moody, commissioning editor comedy BBC

When Patrick Holland takes to the stage in Edinburgh he will have been at the helm of BBC Two for almost a year. A perfect point for June Sarpong to assess his impact, as well as exploring his vision for the future of the UK’s third biggest channel.


Thursday 24th August

Meet the Controller: Cassian Harrison, BBC4

Thursday 24th August 15:00 - 16:00

VENUE: The Sidlaw, Level 3

CHAIR: Ranvir Singh, presenter Good Morning Britain, ITV News

SPEAKERS: Cassian Harrison, channel editor BBC Four; Mark Bell, head of arts commissioning BBC

Cassian Harrison has been at the helm of BBC Four since October 2013; reinventing the schedule with programmes like Television’s Opening Night and the phenomenon that is Slow TV. The channel is known for its eccentricity and intelligence, but in this session, Cassian will share what is at the very heart of a BBC Four idea; a unique DNA that runs through every commission.


Meet the Controller: Charlotte Moore, BBC

Thursday 24th August 09:30 - 10:30

VENUE: The Pentland, Level 3

CHAIR: Richard Bacon, broadcaster, journalist, author

SPEAKERS: Charlotte Moore, director of content BBC; Shane Allen, controller, comedy commissioning BBC; Kate Phillips, controller BBC Entertainment; Alison Kirkham, controller of factual commissioning BBC; Piers Wenger, controller BBC Drama

BBC One is the UK's most-watched television station and, in many ways, the place where the nation gathers in times of celebration and crisis. Join BBC Director of Content and Controller of BBC One, Charlotte Moore, as she talks us through the channel's highs and lows over the last year, tantalises us with clips of upcoming programmes, and gives her advice on how best to go about getting your shows on BBC One, no matter how big or small a company you are - or where you're based.


Meet the Controller: Damian Kavanagh, BBC3

Thursday 24th August 16:30 - 17:30

VENUE: The Fintry, Level 3

CHAIR: Nick Grimshaw, host Radio 1 Breakfast Show

SPEAKERS: Damian Kavanagh, controller BBC Three; Gian Quaglieni, commissioning editor, current affairs BBC; Nasfim Haque, short-form commissioner BBC Three

BBC Three went online over a year ago, it marked its anniversary by winning the coveted RTS award for ‘Channel of the Year’, as well as countless awards including several BAFTA’s. Hosted by Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw - whose network has the biggest radio station on YouTube in the world - we look at the rapidly changing way in which we consume media. How has the online move affected its content, schedules, budget, and talent? How do you produce TV for social platforms?


Meet the Controller: Paul Mortimer, ITV Digital

Thursday 24th August 17:30 - 18:15

VENUE: The Tinto, Level 0

CHAIR: Sam Naz, Journalist, news anchor Sky News

SPEAKERS: Paul Mortimer, head of digital channels and acquisitions ITV; Richard Cowles, creative director, entertainment ITV Studios; Will Worsdell, controller of marketing & media ITV Digital Channels; Karl Warner, managing director Electric Ray

Paul Mortimer is ITV’s new Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, overseeing ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 plus CITV, ITV Encore and ITVBe. Hear more on how Paul sees ITV’s portfolio of channels and about what shows he feels are working for his target audiences.


Meet the Controllers: Steve North, Richard Watsham, Adrian Wills, Hilary Rosen UKTV

Thursday 24th August 11:00 - 12:00

VENUE: The Sidlaw, Level 3

CHAIR: Alex Horne, comedian

SPEAKERS: Steve North, general manager Dave, Gold and W; Richard Watsham, director of commissioning UKTV; Adrian Wills, general manager UKTV channels Drama, Alibi & Yesterday; Hilary Rosen, Deputy Director of Commissioning UKTV

Your task is to attend this session to learn more about UKTV's brands and their commissioning needs for 2018 and beyond. Alex Horne, star of Dave’s BAFTA-nominated gameshow Taskmaster, will get conversational with four of the network’s editorial decision makers and discuss opportunities to produce in scripted, comedy entertainment and fact ent, as well as provide a sneak peek at some brand new UKTV Originals. Your time starts now.


Friday 25th August

Meet the Controller: Adam MacDonald, Sky 1

Friday 25th August 13:00 - 14:00

VENUE: The Sidlaw, Level 3

CHAIR: Chris Curtis, editor Broadcast

SPEAKERS: Adam MacDonald, director Sky 1, Sky Living; Phil Edgar-Jones, director Sky Arts; Natalka Znak, president Znak&Jones; Mat Steiner, managing director Primal Media

In this revelatory session two indie creative bosses reveal the highs and lows of winning business from, and working with, Adam MacDonald and Sky 1. Joined by Sky’s entertainment boss Phil Edgar Jones, whose remit is key to Sky 1’s renewed focus on entertainment shows, learn what it takes to win commissions, including the actual taster tapes and pitches for the new big scale entertainment formats heading to the channel. As well as the new entertainment focus on Sky 1, we’ll hear about Adam’s commitment to building on recent drama successes and the channel’s new comedy commissioning strategy.


Meet the Controller: Ben Frow, Channel 5

Friday 25th August 10:00 - 11:00

VENUE: The Sidlaw, Level 3

CHAIR: Sarah-Jane Mee, television & radio presenter

SPEAKERS: Ben Frow, director of programming Channel 5; Paul Stead, managing director, executive producer Daisybeck; Malcolm Brinkworth, managing director Brinkworth Films; Melanie Leach, chief executive Twofour Group

Channel 5 is once again outperforming terrestrial rivals and has a burgeoning reputation with indies, critics and viewers alike, with the Channel 5 family enjoying a 6% growth in all viewers in the year to date and a 6% rise in upmarket audiences. But just who is Ben Frow, what’s the thinking behind his schedule and what is it actually like to work with him and his team? In a change to the usual controller session format, Ben has agreed to go onto the therapist’s couch to appear in a very special Edinburgh Festival version of his hit show, [Ben Frow]: In Therapy He's also going to share insight into his schedule and we've invited some production companies who've worked with Channel 5 during the last year to lift the lid on what it's actually like to pitch to, and produce for, the most decisive man in television.