Edinburgh TV Festival supported by Screen Scotland


Emily Maitlis

Journalist, Author, Podcaster & Broadcaster Emily Maitlis will deliver the 2022 James Mactaggart Memorial Lecture

Award-winning journalist, author, podcaster and broadcaster, Emily Maitlis, in her first major address since leaving the BBC, will deliver the flagship address of the 2022 Edinburgh TV Festival – The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture – as the Festival returns to an in-person event at the end of August.

Recognised as one of the most influential, renowned and respected journalists in Britain, Maitlis has enjoyed an extraordinary career in news broadcasting across multiple outlets including, NBC Asia, TVB, Channel 4 and Sky. She is probably best known as the stalwart of the BBC’s news team for over 15 years, having covered some of the biggest stories, events and elections both at home and abroad and latterly as lead anchor for the corporation’s flagship news programme, Newsnight. As a result, she has become one of the UK’s most trusted voices with the viewing public.

She has interviewed Presidents, Prime Ministers, Hollywood royalty and business leaders. Arguably, the most notorious of these was her groundbreaking and headline-grabbing encounter that defined the news and cultural narrative; speaking exclusively to Prince Andrew, as the royal talked publicly for the first time about his links to Jeffrey Epstein.

“The list of extraordinary people who have given this lecture before me makes this an honour beyond belief. It is a massive privilege – but also a responsibility. To get this right. The need to hold power to account without fear or favour is more urgent than ever before. We are good at documenting censorship and intimidation of journalists around the world. But we are sometimes too slow to recognise how and when it is happening in more subtle ways, closer to home. In many places the political actors, their style of communication and their relationship with the truth has changed. Journalism needs to respond robustly to that challenge.”

— Emily Maitlis

Having departed the BBC and signed with Global, the next chapter of Maitlis’s career will build upon the success she enjoyed with the Americast podcast. She will once again team with Jon Sopel for a new project under the Global banner.

Maitis’s lecture will cover the complex world of modern journalism where the threat to reporting the news and holding power to account across the globe, comes not just with intimidation and outright censorship, but in more nuanced ways with language and normalizing the extraordinary.


“ Emily Maitlis has delivered the news into our living rooms for over 20 years but could never be described as a news reader. Sharper and edgier than was comfortable for her last employer she is happiest when cracking open a story and not just reporting it. Fans not just of her Prince Andrew encounter but Newsnight, Americast, and her best-selling book Airhead will want to hear her take on truth, power and impartiality in what promises to be a challenging and insightful MacTaggart.”

— Fatima Salaria, Executive Chair, Edinburgh TV Festival