Festival History

The Festival is famous for its provocative, informative and entertaining sessions, all created by seasoned TV producers ensuring they are of the highest quality and relevance. Offering more than 70 keynotes, debates and masterclasses, plus scores of networking opportunities, we draw around 2000 professionals from across the globe.

Our speaker Hall of Fame is second to none, featuring high-calibre speakers from media titans to actors, writers, producers, CEOs and channel controllers from the biggest broadcasters. They include Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch, Ricky Gervais, Sharon Horgan, Armando Iannucci, Charlie Brooker, Hugh Grant, Joanna Lumley and Michaela Coel, alongside the most senior figures from companies including ABC, HBO, NBC, Showtime, Amazon and Netflix.

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.

Now in our 45th year, we maintain a reputation for being the must-attend event in the TV calendar and 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.

Previous programmes:

2018 Programme

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