Creative Brand Communications

Final preparations underway for MGEITF 2011.

EDINBURGH, Wednesday 24th August 2011: Final preparations are underway for the weekend’s 36th annual MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, which boasts a line up of over 50 sessions that celebrate the year’s successes and address the current issues that face the industry.

For the full programme click here

Dr. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, will deliver this year’s MacTaggart lecture, discussing the unique role that Google occupies across global media and how TV business can engage with the giant of modern media. For the first time the speech will be streamed live via You Tube.

Danny Cohen, Peter Fincham, Jay Hunt, Janice Hadlow, Stuart Murphy and Jeff Ford will feature in the Controllers Sessions – each one providing an in-depth and informative look at what their channel has in store for viewers in the future, whilst answering audience questions. 

TV’s man of the moment, Professor Brian Cox, is the subject of the Alternative MacTaggart, in interview with Mariella Frostrup. The particle physicist will offer his analysis of TV as an enduring medium while offering up thoughts on the meaning of the Universe.

Comedy mogul Jon Thoday will give the Richard Dunn Memorial interview.  He will be opening up his extraordinary career in comedy management and production, discussing how he launched the careers of some of the UK’s best known comics.

Multi award-winning  Sky News reporter, Alex Crawford, will deliver the Worldview Lecture live via satellite link from Libya, focusing on recent events in the Middle East, and the changing role of news in growing, multicultural society.

The session ‘Chasing The Convergence Cash’ will set the scene for a major theme of the festival as broadcasting heavyweights chase new world operators like Facebook for revenue. Speakers will include Channel Four’s Chief Executive David Abraham and Ed Vaizey MP.

As Sky enters its third decade, the festival looks at the way the UK’s first satellite operator has revolutionised our television and the challenges it now faces as Britain’s biggest broadcaster. Speakers include David Wheeldon Sky’s Director of Policy & Public Affairs and Alan Rusbridger Editor In Chief, The Guardian.

In his first festival appearance for 6 years, Ricky Gervais talks about his TV career past and present while new entrant to the British comedy pantheon, Miranda Hart, will give a masterclass covering the creative process and exploring the future of comedy. Comic Strip writer Peter Richardson and producer Nick Smith will talk through the process of revising one of the nation’s best-loved comedy shows and updating it for a very different age.

Journalist and presenter Miriam O’Reilly joins a panel discussion examining the relationship between older women and television in Too Old for HD? The session will explore the different ways TV women have adapted – or not – with the changing face of television.

Actress Joanne Froggatt and Gareth Neame, executive producer of the massive ratings and critical success, Downton Abbey, will be deconstructing its popularity, examining its narrative structure as well as exclusively previewing the new series.

Sofie Gråbøl, star of hit Danish crime thriller, The Killing is joined by producer Piv Bernth to celebrate Sarah Lund, the cult following for the programme and everyone’s favourite jumpers.

Mark Wright and Sam Faiers, stars of ITV2’s multiplatform phenomenon and runaway success, The Only Way is Essex are joined by producers and commissioners to talk vajazzling, spray tanning, and the blurring of fact and fiction.

Glenn Brown, Director of Business Development at Twitter, will give The Futureview Address. Brown will be addressing the power of the medium to revolutionise the way TV viewers discover and interact with programming in real time. An additional session  The Only Way is Twitter…? will interrogate the ‘Twitter Effect’ by looking at the numbers and their real impact exposing top tweeters’ best practices.

With under a year to go until the start of the Olympics, the BBC’s Director of London 2012 Roger Mosey, will give a preview of what new technological and creative innovations we can expect as the BBC prepares to deliver the greatest show on earth – the Olympics – to our living rooms in 2012.

Some of the advertising world’s most creative people will share their revolutionary approach to audience engagement and a separate session looks at the world of product placement. Other highlights include; an investigation into bullying in the industry and an exploration into the international success of The Cube.

MGEITF kicks off with Family Fortunes as you’ve never seen it before. Vernon Kay will host this special edition of everyone’s favourite gameshow, with commissioning “families” from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, plus celebrity guests (including Lee Mack, Sam Faiers, Alan Carr and Sally Lindsay)  competing to demonstrate their superior understanding of TV audiences.

Presented by comedian Russell Kane, the Arqiva Channel of the Year Awards introduces three new awards this year; Cross Platform Innovation, Producer or Director Debut and Indie of the Year. A host of celebrity faces will help present the awards to the winners.

Screenings include; Sky 1’s new sitcom, SPY; The 9/11 Decade, an Al Jazeera film exploring how the CIA fought al Qaeda in the shadows, marking the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Centre attacks; Sky Atlantic’s first original comedy commission, This is Jinsy with Q&A; a screening of the new episode of BBC One’s Doctor Who; Syfy’s supernatural drama, Haven (Series 2 Episode 1- A Tale of Two Audreys); ABC’s highly anticipated, Once Upon A Time; and Channel 4’s comedy Fresh Meat, starring Jack Whitehall, with an introduction from the channel’s Head of Drama, Camilla Campbell.

For the full run down – visit the festival website at

Follow us on Twitter

@EdinburghTVFest . Festival tag #mgeitf

Press Contact: Taylor Herring PR

Notes to Editors:

  • Now in its 36th year, the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival is the essential annual event for anyone involved in the media industry
  • A diverse programme of over 50 sessions including debates about important industry issues, future trends, glossy entertainment sessions and some of the most innovative leaders in the media delivering keynote speeches
  • The Festival is attended by over 1,500 delegates, representing the full spectrum of the industry – from chief executives, controllers and commissioners to producers, directors, marketers, writers, new media companies, distributors and press
  • A key part of the Festival’s charitable remit is encouraging and developing new talent from a diverse range of backgrounds, and it delivers on this aim through two talent schemes, The Network and Fast Track.  These schemes help over 100 young people each year to get in and get on in the media industry.
  • George Entwistle, Controller of BBC Knowledge Commissioning, is the 2011 Advisory Chair.
  •  For further details log on to



Latest Articles