‘Succession’ star Brian Cox confirmed for Ed TV Festival; Rose Ayling-Ellis to deliver Alternative MacTaggart

L-R: Brian Cox & Rose Ayling-Ellis

British actress Rose Ayling-Ellis will deliver the Alternative MacTaggart lecture at this year’s Edinburgh TV Festival, with the first wave of sessions and speakers, including Succession star Brian Cox, announced.

EastEnders star and Strictly Come Dancing winner Ayling-Ellis, who is a pioneer for the deaf community and British Sign Language campaigner, will use the lecture to share her experiences as a deaf actress address the realities of life as a young person with disability in the TV industry.

“It is a privilege to be able to use my platform to raise awareness and understanding of the deaf community. It is vital that we keep talking about the realities faced by those with disabilities in the industry, and I am so thrilled to be given the opportunity to address these important issues at this year’s lecture,” said Ayling-Ellis.

Actor Brian Cox will also be discussing his career in an in depth-interview which will give an insight into his thoughts on US vs UK drama, identity and his working-class roots, as well as his portrayal of Logan Roy in HBO drama Succession.

Meanwhile, comedian, writer, actor and Starstruck creator Rose Matafeo will be in conversation with journalist, author and screenwriter, Dolly Alderton, whose Everything I Know About Love launches on BBC this week. The two will discuss the creative process of bringing their work to the small screen and share their experiences of life in TV and beyond.

Professional panels

The Masterclass thread will feature the cast and producers of BBC comedy Ghosts, as well as the stars and creators of Netflix series Heartstopper, including author Alice Osman and executive producer Patrick Walters. There will also an exclusive deep dive into Disney+’s first UK-originated drama Wedding Season, with the chance to hear from cast members and the team behind it.

Banijay UK boss Patrick Holland will chair a session on ‘Funding Factual Programming’, while ‘Formats World Tour’ takes a look at the big entertainment formats that have become hits in different territories across the world.

Jackie Adedeji will take a look at the rise and rise of the podcast and how they are influencing TV in ‘Sonic Boom’ and Richard Osman leads a panel which will dissect the future of big entertainment shows in ‘Saturday Night’s Alright?’

‘Life Beyond TV’ will discuss the reasons why people are leaving the industry with a panel of ex-TV professionals from across the spectrum; ‘Why Do We Still Need Commissioners?’ sees digital talent, studios and traditional commissioners exploring the role and relevance of commissioners in this new age of self-broadcasting; and Adjani Salmon and Genevieve Barr will be part of a panel discussing how to ensure diverse talent and stories are properly represented in drama/

The festival’s Spotlight On… session will also return featuring interviews with creative content chiefs from broadcasters and streamers, including Amazon, BBC, Channel 4, Disney, ITV, Netflix, Sky and UKTV, with a line-up including Anne Mensah, Charlotte Moore, Dan Grabiner, Fiona Campbell, Georgia Brown, Ian Katz, Kate Townsend, Kevin Lygo and Marcus Arthur.

The Festival’s creative director, Stewart Clarke, said: “As we head back to Edinburgh, we are delighted to reveal some of the amazing talent and industry speakers who will be joining us.

“Rose Ayling-Ellis will deliver a landmark Alternative MacTaggart, we have the casts of some of TV’s most exciting and loved shows, and of course, the inimitable Brian Cox, as well as sessions discussing urgent industry matters. And that is just the start, with lots more to come.”

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