The Edinburgh International Television Festival is an annual media event in the UK each August which brings together all parts of the television and digital world to debate the major issues facing the industry.
The Festival draws about 2,000 delegates from the major networks and production companies internationally.
Although the festival operates in Edinburgh, its headquarters are in London.
Over the years, the Festival has attracted some of the world’s most significant industry figures – including Kevin Spacey, Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner, Ricky Gervais, Vince Gilligan, Tessa Ross, Jamie Oliver, Simon Cowell, Ted Sarandos and Elisabeth Murdoch, as well as people from related fields such as Al Gore and Germaine Greer.
Established in 1976, the Festival takes place every August at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre concurrently with the Edinburgh International Festival, and similar events, in the city. The Edinburgh International Television Festival remains the only event both run by and for the television industry as the Festival is governed by its Executive and Advisory committees. The Festival is a charitable organisation with a mission to identify and nurture the next generation of talent, whatever their background.
The Festival run two talent schemes – "The Network" (formerly known as TVYP) which gives brand new entrants a vital first step into the TV and digital industries while "Ones to Watch" (formerly known as Fast Track) supports those at the early stages of their career. Both benefit from fully funded places at the Festival, which include tailored workshops, masterclasses and networking. Year-round mentoring, training and events are also offered.
The Festival also runs other events throughout the year with the aim of engaging and inspiring the TV industry, these range from our punchy and provocative EdTalks lectures to Q & A’s with channel bosses from across the globe.
The Festival is best known for its keynote address: the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture. The lecture features speeches from leading media figures connected with British and international television over more than 40 years:
|1976||John McGrath||Dramatist and director, founder of 7:84 Theatre Company|
|1977||Marcel Ophüls||French/US documentary film maker (The Sorrow and the Pity/Le Chagrin et la Pitié)|
|1978||Norman Lear||American television producer and scriptwriter|
|1979||Jeremy Isaacs||former Director of Programmes for Thames Television (later Chief Executive, Channel 4)|
|1980||John Mortimer||Screenwriter and dramatist|
|1981||Peter Jay||Economist and broadcaster, Chairman of TV-am|
|1982||Ted Turner||American television executive, founder of CNN|
|1983||Jonathan Miller||Stage and television director/producer and broadcaster|
|1984||Denis Forman||Chairman, Granada Television|
|1985||John Schlesinger||Film and television director|
|1986||Troy Kennedy Martin||Television dramatist|
|1987||Phillip Whitehead||Television documentary producer|
|1988||Christine Ockrent||Belgian/French journalist and broadcaster|
|1989||Rupert Murdoch||Australian/American Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, News Corporation|
|1990||Verity Lambert||Independent film and television producer|
|1991||David Elstein||Director of Programmes, Thames Television|
|1992||Michael Grade||Chief Executive, Channel 4|
|1993||Dennis Potter||Television dramatist and screenwriter|
|1994||Greg Dyke||Chief Executive of LWT, Chairman of ITV Council and GMTV|
|1995||Janet Street-Porter||Broadcaster and journalist|
|1996||John Birt||Director General, BBC|
|1997||Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran||Television comedy scriptwriters and programme creators|
|1998||Peter Bazalgette||Managing Director, Bazal|
|1999||Richard Eyre||Chief Executive, ITV Network|
|2000||Greg Dyke||Director General, BBC|
|2001||David Liddiment||Director of Channels, ITV Network|
|2002||Mark Thompson||Chief Executive, Channel 4|
|2003||Tony Ball||Chief Executive, BSkyB|
|2004||John Humphrys||Broadcaster and journalist|
|2005||Lord Birt||former Director General, BBC|
|2006||Charles Allen||Chief Executive, ITV|
|2007||Jeremy Paxman||Broadcaster and presenter of Newsnight (BBC)|
|2008||Peter Fincham||Director of Television, ITV|
|2009||James Murdoch||Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia, News Corporation|
|2010||Mark Thompson||Director General, BBC|
|2011||Dr Eric Schmidt||Executive Chairman, Google|
|2012||Elisabeth Murdoch||Chairman, Shine Group|
|2013||Kevin Spacey||American actor, director and producer|
|2014||David Abraham||Chief Executive, Channel 4|
|2015||Armando Iannucci||Broadcaster, writer, director and producer|
|2016||Shane Smith||Canadian journalist and chief executive of Vice Media|
|2017||Jon Snow||Journalist and broadcaster|