Tuesday 27th June 2017


Award-winning comedian, writer, actor and broadcaster, Russell Brand, will address the Edinburgh International Television Festival in the prestigious Alternative MacTaggart, it was announced today (TUES).

Interviewed by XFM co-host and comedy writer behind Channel 4’s The Mimic and Very Important People, Matt Morgan, delegates will get a unique insight into the career of this exceptional artist, interviewing Brand about his lifelong devotion to comedy; his extensive portfolio of work on and off the screen; and how his call for revolution has been realised in a personal way, in love and fatherhood.

Russell Brand has enjoyed huge success as a stand-up comic in the UK and internationally, along with a wide-ranging and incredibly successful career in UK television; hosting shows such as MTV’s 1 Leicester Square and Channel 4’s The Russell Brand Show and Bafta-nominated Ponderland. 

On the big screen, in addition to starring in blockbuster films such as 2008 comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 2010’s Get Him To The Greek, and voicing Dr Nefario in the Despicable Me series, Russell has made documentaries including From Addiction to Recovery, End the Drugs War and the Michael Winterbottom directed feature, The Emperor’s New Clothes. Russell continues to explore the ideas that define our time in his self-produced web series, The Trews, which has become a global phenomenon.

Off-screen, Brand is a New York Times best-selling author and chart-topping podcaster as well as a columnist, political commentator and mental health and drug rehabilitation activist.

Festival Director, Lisa Campbell, said: “Thought-provoking, entertaining and with a delicious way with words, Russell is one of the most exciting creative mavericks around. Having Matt on board as someone who knows the complexities and inner workings of this titan of comedy, and who can give genuine insight into his creative brain, will make this one unmissable hour.”

Previous Alternative MacTaggart speakers have included Sharon Horgan, Nicola Sturgeon, Mary Portas, Charlie Brooker, Professor Brian Cox, Paul Abbott and Ant and Dec.


Last month, the TV Festival announced a schedule that places a premium on new information, giving delegates a privileged insight in to some of TV’s most inspiring names, shows and stories. Names include: Phoebe Waller-Bridge; Lauren Laverne, Nick Grimshaw, Rio Ferdinand, Sue Perkins, Evan Davis, Edith Bowman, Kirsty Wark, Mark Gordon, Anna Richardson, June Sarpong, and Danielle Ward, with more still to be announced.

As a Festival and a charity, the Edinburgh International 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.

For more information log on to thetvfestival.com

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