KIRAN NATARAJA ANNOUNCED AS 2023’S ADVISORY CHAIR
Director of Content Strategy and Planning at Channel 4, Kiran Nataraja, will be taking the helm as the Festival’s Advisory Chair for 2023.
Having started out at the BBC, Nataraja has worked for Channel 4 since 2011, a period that has seen the launch of some of the Channel’s seminal shows and event programming including Gogglebox, First Dates, Derry Girls, It’s a Sin, Stand Up to Cancer and The Paralympics.
Her role puts her at the heart of the public service broadcaster, responsible for optimising content planning and investment decisions across streaming and linear services. She runs the planning and scheduling teams not just for Channel 4 but also All 4, the company’s five other broadcast channels and the Box music channels. She also has responsibility for Programme Acquisitions.
Working closely with other senior leaders, she shapes the commissioning strategy for the portfolio ensuring creative, editorial and performance objectives are met. In short, Nataraja knows what works and what the audience wants. Fittingly then, her chosen theme for the 2023 Festival is the passion and power in TV with a particular focus on TV for all.
“I want people to remember why they are working in TV”
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with TV; I was a proper telly addict and watched everything I was allowed to… and quite a lot that I wasn’t! I was endlessly fascinated by different worlds and voices on screen. I’m honoured to take on this role so we can explore the passion and responsibility we all share for creating powerful shows that can bring positive change to a viewer; an audience; an institution; a government or a nation. I want people to remember why they are working in TV and for colleagues to feel energised, excited and confident about their valuable position in its ecosystem. People should feel they have the ability to shape the direction of the industry, no matter what their role is or what their background is – and the ability to make programmes with lasting impact and influence.”
The Festival’s Executive Chair, Fatima Salaria said:
“I’m delighted that such an influential and hands-on figure as Kiran has a platform to celebrate what is best about TV. Kiran, and people like her, are the heartbeat of the industry; what she doesn’t know about our shows and the way the audiences react to them isn’t worth knowing. She not only has all the facts at her fingertips but an instinctive love for content that makes waves and moves people. This year’s Festival will show how we all share a common ground in our passion for, and the power of, our industry.”
Following a hugely successful return to the Scottish capital in 2022, the Festival will once again take place at the EICC and this year, for an extended programme with dates confirmed as 22-25 August.
Campbell Glennie, CEO of the Festival and TV Foundation, said:
“After our biggest Festival to date in 2022, we want to give our audience even more opportunities to connect and debate the issues that mean the most to them. In response to industry feedback on time spent in Edinburgh we’re expanding into the afternoon of Tuesday 22nd August, which means more value for delegates without having to book an additional night in August’s most exciting city. Our centrepiece speech The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture will remain a fixture of Wednesday night.”
A very limited number of Super Early Bird Passes are on sale now.