Festival Programme

Issues and Debates

Wednesday 23rd August

Edinburgh Does…Judge Rinder

Wednesday 23rd August 13:45 - 14:45

VENUE: The Moorfoot/Kilsyth, Level 0

CHAIR: Judge Rinder, criminal barrister

SPEAKERS: Clive Tulloh, managing director / executive producer Burning Bright Productions; Gill Wilson, head of features & daytime Channel 4; Elaine Frontain Bryant, executive vice president & head of programming A&E Network; Cat Lewis, CEO, executive producer Nine Lives Media; Richard Johnston, chief executive officer Endemol Shine UK; Tom Beck, head of live events & com ed, entertainment Channel 4

Criminal barrister Robert Rinder, best known for his popular ITV daytime show Judge Rinder is to be the arbitrator of TV industry battles at this year’s TV Festival. No stranger to conflict, ITV’s Judge Rinder will preside over a session which pits leading figures against each other to debate some of TV’s hottest topics. Rinder will have his gavel at the ready to rule over such issues as ‘TV’s run out of new entertainment hits - guilty or innocent?’ and ‘Television stands accused of being out of touch with viewers in post-Brexit Britain.’


Nothing Will Be Televised: Have Young People Switched Off?

Wednesday 23rd August 10:00 - 11:00

VENUE: The Fintry, Level 3

CHAIR: Mawaan Rizwan, actor, comedian

SPEAKERS: Emma Cooper, managing director of non-scripted television Pulse Films; CJ Fahey, general manager VICELAND, EMEA & APAC; Richard Cowles, creative director, entertainment ITV Studios; Tom Frazer, vice president, strategy & digital Viacom International Media Networks UK

Actor and comedian Mawaan Rizwan looks at the success of Love Island and Blue Planet with 16-34s and asks what more TV can do to engage younger viewers – not least when young people are switching off their TVs in droves. BBC TV only reached 66% of 16-34 year olds last year, and the average viewer age of Channel 4 is 55, E4 is 42. So is the industry out of touch? If so what can it do to get young people watching again?


The Steve Hewlett Debate: Fake News

Wednesday 23rd August 15:30 - 16:30

VENUE: The Sidlaw, Level 3

CHAIR: Krishnan Guru-Murthy, presenter Channel 4 News

SPEAKERS: Versha Sharma, managing editor & senior correspondent NowThis; Jamie Angus, deputy director BBC World Service Group; Damian Collins, chair Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee; Tony Maddox, executive vice president managing director CNN International

We've had some of the most dramatic events of recent times - with the Brexit vote, the election of Donald Trump, and everything that has followed. Throughout this time, the role of the news media has constantly been under debate - and in some ways under threat.


Thursday 24th August

Leaders’ Debate

Thursday 24th August 13:30 - 14:30

VENUE: The Pentland, Level 3

CHAIR: Evan Davis, presenter Newsnight, Dragons Den

SPEAKERS: Charlotte Moore, director of content BBC; Kevin Lygo, director of television ITV; Zai Bennett, director of programmes Sky UK; Ben Frow, director of programming Channel 5; Ralph Lee, deputy chief creative officer Channel 4

In a unique opportunity, join the creative leaders of Britain’s main broadcasters to discuss their visions of the future. Chaired by Evan Davis, this session will ask how the broadcasters can remain relevant to an audience increasingly spoilt for choice and how they are facing up to the existential threat posed by new technologies and content-providers.


Friday 25th August

Edinburgh Does…Question Time

Friday 25th August 13:00 - 14:00

VENUE: The Fintry, Level 3

CHAIR: Kirsty Wark, Journalist, broadcaster, writer

SPEAKERS: Mark Linsey, director BBC Studios; Jane Turton, CEO all3media; Damian Collins, chair Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee; Nicola Shindler, executive producer RED Production Company; Peter Fincham, co-CEO Expectation

Edinburgh isn't Edinburgh without Question Time rounding off the Festival. Kirsty Wark chairs a panel of senior industry figures and politicians as they face blind questions selected from the audience and via the Festival app on the latest industry and wider reaching issues of the day.