The Edinburgh Television Festival is offering members of the public the opportunity to buy tickets to a range of sessions and exclusive screenings featuring top talent from both on and off screen, it was announced today (WED).

Exclusive events include a Love Island masterclass with 2018 winners, Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham, and the break-out stars of 2017, Kem Cetinay and Chris Hughes. Alongside Love Island, members of the public can also purchase tickets to see television legends including Steve Coogan, Joanna Lumley, Hugh Grant, Michael Palin, Michaela Coel, and Lennie James; experience the cult classic, Catchphrase with Roy Walker; watch an exclusive episode of Dave’s hit comedy Zapped, and episode one of ITV’s upcoming series Vanity Fair, and hear the cast of Derry Girls talk about the hit show.

Members of the public can book tickets via the following links:  or

Wednesday 22nd August

10.00 – 11.00 - Love Island masterclass: The Making of a Reality Hit

Since its return in 2015, Love Island has become a cultural phenomenon. Proving that 16-24s can still fall in love with linear TV, and uniting the nation’s watercoolers every morning, it broke ratings records and even won a BAFTA.

This session looks at how a reality reboot became the smash hit of the summer and what this means for the industry. This panel promises insights on the production, the innovative ways they keep the format feeling fresh, and how social media and marketing were used to propel the show into the mainstream.

For an industry desperate to engage younger viewers, we’ll discuss why this show caught the imagination of so many of them, and what we can all learn from it.

2018 Love Island winners Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham join a panel with 2017’s break-out stars Kem Cetinay and Chris Hughes, comedian and voice over Iain Stirling, ITV Head of Digital Channel and Acquisitions, Paul Mortimer; Managing Director, ITV Studios, Angela Jain; and Senior Digital Producer, Chris Younie.

12.45 – 13.45 – Joanna Lumley – It’s All About Me On TV with Clive Tulloh

National Treasure Joanna Lumley gives the Edinburgh TV Festival a sneak preview of her sell-out national tour by talking about being on our small screens for 50 years and taking exclusive questions from the most intelligent TV literate audience in the world!

17.45 – 18.30 - James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture: Michaela Coel

Award-winning actress, screenwriter, singer, songwriter, poet and playwright Michaela Coel will deliver this year’s prestigious James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture.

In October 2015, Coel starred in and wrote a new sitcom for E4 called Chewing Gum, inspired by her play Chewing Gum Dreams. Her performance earned her two Royal Television Society Awards for ‘Best Comedy Performance’ and ‘Breakthrough Performance’, a BAFTA Television Craft Award for ‘Breakthrough Talent’, the ‘Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme’ award at the Television BAFTAs and a Broadcast Digital Award for ‘Best Scripted Programme’.  The sitcom was also nominated for a BAFTA TV ‘Best Scripted Comedy’ award.  In 2017, Michaela was picked as one of the Screen International ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ and also made the Forbes Magazine ‘30 under 30’ list celebrating the brightest young entrepreneurs, breakout talents and change agents across the globe.  This year, Michaela was selected as one of the European Shooting Stars at the Berlinale Film Festival and Chewing Gum was again nominated for Best Scripted Comedy, Best Comedy Writer and Best Comedy Performance for Michaela at the Royal Television Society Awards.

Coel has since guest-starred in BBC One drama London Spy, E4 sci-fi comedy-drama The Aliens, and also starred in two episodes of Charlie Brooker’s award-winning dystopian drama series Black Mirror for Netflix. In series three she starred in Joe Wright’s episode ‘NOSEDIVE’ alongside Bryce Dallas Howard and returned in series four in Toby Haynes’ episode ‘USS CALLISTER’ alongside Jesse Plemons.

She also had a role in the 2017 film Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Chewing Gum returned for a second season in January 2017. The series was also a huge hit for Netflix in the US and the platform has since pre-bought the worldwide rights to the upcoming feature film Been So Long, a London-set musical based on the play by Ché Walker and Arthur Darvill and directed by Tinge Krishnan, which stars Coel.

19.00 – 20.30 - Vanity Fair, ITV – Exclusive preview, episode one and cast and crew Q&A

Gwyneth Hughes’ adaptation of Thackeray’s literary classic is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows modern heroine Becky Sharp (Olivia Cooke) as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society. Her story of “villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing”, takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.

Cast Includes: Olivia Cooke, Claudia Jessie, Tom Bateman, Johnny Flynn, Charlie Rowe, Martin Clunes and Frances de la Tour

The screening will be followed by a guest panel Q&A of cast and crew including Claudia Jessie who plays Becky’s confidante Amelia Sedley and writer & executive producer Gwyneth Hughes.

Thursday 23rd August

09.30 – 10.30 – Tapping the New Talent Revolution

Megastar gamer, Dan TDM, has over 19 million subscribers on YouTube (millions more on Twitter and Instagram), and is one of a growing band of online creators who enthral armies of Generation Z fans. So how does real talent emerge from the wild west of the vlogosphere, into the world of professional production and shiny-floored studios? Can their authentic appeal translate to TV ratings, with the right help? Dan and presenter Grace Victory headline a panel chaired by Alice Webb, Director of BBC Children’s and BBC North, to debate how the charisma of the new media revolutionaries can benefit TV.

11:15 - 12:15 – EdTalks: Winning the Future

If you believe the naysayers, TV’s dying. We’re told we’re entering a world where the FAANGS will hoover up all the content, audiences are under-represented and abandoning TV and AI is going to take all our jobs. But… it doesn’t have to be this way. Following in the rich tradition of ED TALKS, this year some of the world’s preeminent experts in technology and media are taking to the stage to share their views on how the TV industry can adapt, thrive and ultimately ‘win the future’.

13.00 – 14.00 – Michael Palin in North Korea

Exclusively for the TV Festival, BAFTA-winning actor, writer and presenter, Michael Palin CBE will give a special preview of Channel 5’s forthcoming world exclusive documentary series Michael Palin in North Korea (w/t).

The preview will be followed by an interview with television, radio and podcast presenter, Edith Bowman.
Michael Palin will talk about his 1300 mile journey across the DPRK, where he was the first Western broadcaster to visit many remote locations in the secretive country. Michael met citizens from all walks of life from capital Pyongyang to the snowy peaks of Mount Paektu during his visit which was two years in the planning and coincided with the landmark summit between the North and South Korean leaders.

13.00 – 14.00 – Save Me Masterclass

The unique six-part Sky original production launched on Sky Atlantic in February, introducing us to an unlikely hero in Nelly Rowe (James). The life and soul of his local boozer, a charmer, chancer, fighter, and liar, Nelly’s world is turned upside down after he is arrested and accused of kidnapping his 13-year-old daughter Jody, a child he barely knew existed.
The exclusive masterclass will explore Save Me’s unique development process specifically looking at Lennie’s approach to writing, his compelling characters, authentic dialogue and gripping narrative and how director Nick Murphy created a distinctive visual language to bring this world to life.

14.45 – 15.45 – Derry Girls Masterclass

At the beginning of the year, four Derry Girls (and one wee English fella) made their riotous, blasphemous and hilarious debut on Channel 4. Set in the early 90s in a place called Derry (or Londonderry, depending on your persuasion), Lisa McGee’s relatable and nostalgic family comedy – warm and profane, daft and tender, celebratory and outrageous – quickly gathered legions of fans, widespread critical acclaim and record-breaking viewing figures.

In this masterclass, which will also include a live table read by the cast, creator Lisa McGee, cast members and other key creatives from the hit comedy discuss the process of bringing the series to screen and the overwhelming responses from audiences.

19.00 – 20.00 – Zapped Season Three preview screening and Q&A

The first episode of the third season of Dave’s hit comedy Zapped, will be introduced by Baby Cow execs Steve Coogan and Christine Langan.

It will then be followed by a Q&A with cast members including Sharon Rooney and Kenneth Collard, alongside writer Will Ing and director Dave Lambert.

Series three of Zapped sees James Buckley return to star as Brian Weaver, the simple office worker transported to the fantastical land of Munty. Series two ended in a cliffhanger with Brian in chains and Paul Kaye’s wizard Howell sent to Earth by mistake – the third series promises to be the most inventive and imaginative yet.

James Buckley is supported by cast regulars Paul Kaye, Sharon Rooney, Kenneth Collard and Louis Emerick.

Zapped debuted on Dave in 2016 and has since gone on to establish itself as a firm favourite with fans and a cornerstone of the scripted comedy schedule on the channel.

The series was created by Black Dog Television who co-produce with Baby Cow Productions. It’s written by Dan Gaster, Will Ing and Paul Powell, directed by Dave Lambert and produced by Candida Julian-Jones. The executive producers include Paul Schlesinger, Steve Coogan and Christine Langan for Baby Cow, alongside Pete Thornton for UKTV

Friday 24th August

10.00 – 11.00 – In Conversation: Steve Coogan and Christine Langan

As well as creating the enduring comic character Alan Partridge, Steve Coogan is also an acclaimed writer, producer, actor and co-founder of Baby Cow Productions.
Steve Coogan and Christine Langan first collaborated on the Academy Award nominated Philomena when Langan was Head of BBC Films. She subsequently joined Baby Cow as CEO to build on the indie’s successful comedy slate and further develop film and drama commissions.
Coogan and Langan will discuss their future plans for the indie and share exclusive clips of the forthcoming Baby Cow series This Time With Alan Partridge – marking the return of Partridge 25 years after his debut.

11.45 – 12.45 – A Very English Scandal: Masterclass

The award-winning team from the acclaimed series A Very English Scandal – actor, Hugh Grant; writer, Russell T Davies; director, Stephen Frears; producer, Dan Winch and executive producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, join an exclusive masterclass at the Edinburgh TV Festival, chaired by writer, presenter and broadcaster, Sue Perkins.

Adapted from John Preston’s novel, A Very English Scandal is the shocking true story of Jeremy Thorpe, the former Liberal Party leader who stood trial for conspiracy to murder his secret ex-lover Norman Scott. The three-part drama starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw debuted on BBC One to widespread critical acclaim, recently heading to American audiences on Amazon Prime US.

This exciting masterclass will delve into the sensational adaptation, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process and challenges involved in bringing this sensitive true-life story to the screen. Hugh Grant will also talk about his first appearance in a television programme in over a decade and discuss what drew him to this iconic role.

13.45 -  14.45 - For Pod’s Sake! – Podcasting, the new Frontier of Entertainment

2018 has been the year of the pod. Audio is on the march with new entrants Audible and Spotify commissioning original content alongside the BBC. But it’s now possible for individuals and companies big and small to try out their creative ideas with direct to audience podcasts. The global TV industry has woken up with big studios licensing podcast hits to take to screen and producers setting up podcast departments to develop IP on the cheap. In this session Jason Phipps the BBC’s first Commissioning Editor for Podcasts, Susie Warhurst the global head of content at rapidly growing platform Acast and Podcast pioneer and comedian Richard Herring join chairman Jez Nelson, the CEO of content company and Europe’s biggest audio indie Somethin’ Else.
Subjects they’ll cover include who’s commissioning what, what’s working, how do you make money and what can TV learn from Pods.


For more information please contact Victoria Hartley Wilson at Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 or