RAFT OF TALENT ADDED TO TV FESTIVAL LINE-UP

Award-winning actor, writer, comedian and co-founder of Baby Cow, Steve Coogan; Baby Cow CEO, Christine Langan; director unscripted programming at Netflix, Brandon Riegg; Megastar gamer, Dan TDM; television writer, Jed Mercurio; and broadcasters Lauren Laverne and Alice Levine are amongst the latest names to be added to the TV Festival line-up, it was announced today (THURS).

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 the next phase for the indie and the audience will be shown exclusive clips of the forthcoming Baby Cow series This Time With Alan Partridge - marking the return of Partridge to the BBC 25 years after his debut.

In his first TV Festival appearance, Brandon Riegg, director unscripted programming at Netflix, will outline his vision for unscripted programming on the platform as the portfolio expands. Netflix is driving a global unscripted TV renaissance and has ordered second seasons of five of its new unscripted series, including the hugely popular Queer Eye and comedy baking show Nailed It! Other recent commissions include a docu-series with Formula 1, providing exclusive access to the world's fastest drivers, team principals and owners. 

Advisory Chair, Phil Edgar-Jones, said: “As well as creating arguably the most enduring comic character in TV history in Alan Partridge, Steve Coogan is also an acclaimed writer, producer and actor and a truly inspirational figure in comedy. We are delighted that Steve will be joining us alongside Christine Langan for a glimpse into his career and the-inner workings of Baby Cow. It’ll be an hour of pure Knowing-Her-Knowing-Him joy.”

Festival Director, Lisa Campbell added: “As a Festival we pride ourselves on giving delegates access to the most prominent creative voices in our industry. In our first Gamechanger session to be announced, the inspirational Netflix leads the way in the production of high-end content and this is sure to be a must-see session.”

Megastar gamer, Dan TDM has 18.7 million subscribers on YouTube (and millions more on Twitter and Instagram) and is one of a growing band of creators who enthral armies of Generation Z fans and wield an enviable ability to influence them. But can their global appeal translate to TV ratings if they swap niche down-the-lens content for professional production and shiny-floored studios? Dan himself headlines a panel alongside Alice Webb, Director, BBC Children’s and BBC North, including agents and other influencers, to debate how the charisma of the new media revolutionaries can benefit TV.

In a session dedicated to Nordic drama, a panel of Scandinavian broadcasters will uncover the co-production opportunities for British and European indies as a means to boost budgets, production values – and crucially to compete with the SVODS. The panel will look at Scandinavian drama’s impact on other drama series around the world and find out the next big thing coming out of these territories. We will also hear from Line of Duty writer and HTM Television co-owner, Jed Mercurio, who is in development with Yle on an original psychological thriller as well as actively seeking opportunities with other Nordic broadcasters.

Elsewhere the ever-popular Meet the Controller sessions return with broadcaster Alice Levine in discussion with BBC Three’s Damian Kavanagh, and broadcaster Lauren Laverne will come face-to-face with Sky’s Zai Bennett.

The sessions will follow the familiar one-to-one interviews with key controllers and top presenters discussing in more detail the channel’s strategy, as well as offering them the opportunity to convey both their commissioning needs and their unique brand identity to delegates.

Controllers from ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and UKTV also form part of the line-up.

Festival Director, Lisa Campbell, said: “Bringing new and insightful voices to the conversation is something that the TV Festival works hard to achieve. Dan TDM will offer us a fresh look at how we can better harness influencers, and in our Nordic drama session, we’ll find out how we too can ride the wave created by Nordic Noir. The new controller strand format introduced last year returns giving us a rounded view of the channel’s inner workings, as always a session not to be missed!”

As a Festival and a charity, the Edinburgh Television Festival is committed to helping young people from all backgrounds gain access to the TV Industry. It runs two young talent schemes, Ones to Watch and The Network.

Both schemes aim to ensure that the people working in television are as diverse as the audience watching it.

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