Some of the U.K.’s biggest TV and streaming stars are set to appear at the 2022 Edinburgh TV Festival. Among those who will be present at the in-person event in Edinburgh are “Succession” patriarch Brian Cox, “Heartstopper” star Kit Connor and “Strictly Come Dancing’s” Rose Ayling-Ellis, who will give this year’s Alternative Mactaggart speech.
Actor Ayling-Ellis, who was “Strictly’s” first deaf contestant and is a British Sign Language (BSL) campaigner, is set to discuss her experiences in the industry in what is sure to be a no-holds barred speech that follows on from last year’s Alternative Mactaggart lecture by “His Dark Materials” writer and disability campaigner Jack Thorne.
More from Variety
Cox will appear in conversation to discuss his career, his scene-stealing role as Logan Roy and his working-class Scottish roots while the cast and creative team from Netflix hit “Heartstopper” will also be on hand to discuss the coming-of-age romantic drama, with creator Alice Osman and EP Patrick Walters set to join Connor on stage.
Other names lined up for the festival include Richard Osman, who’ll chair a panel on the future of entertainment shows, “Starstruck” creator and actor Rose Matafeo, “Everything I Know About Love’s” Dolly Alderton and the teams behind BBC drama “Ghosts” and Disney+ drama “Wedding Season.”
There will also be industry strands, including a session on funding factual programming from Patrick Holland, a “formats world tour,” Jackie Adedeji on how podcasts are being adapted for television, a discussion on the TV talent exodus, Adjani Salmon and Genevieve Barr on diversity, and a panel titled “Why Do We Still Need Commissioners?”
2022 Advisory Chair Afua Hirsch will also host a legacy session with former MacTaggart speakers including Thorne, Armando Iannucci, Dorothy Byrne and David Olusoga.
“Spotlight On…,” a series of controller sessions, will include creative chiefs and commissioning teams from Amazon, BBC, C4, Disney, ITV, Netflix, Sky, UKTV with Anne Mensah, Charlotte Moore, Dan Grabiner, Fiona Campbell, Georgia Brown, Ian Katz, Kate Townsend, Kevin Lygo, Marcus Arthur and others confirmed to appear.
“As we head back to Edinburgh, we are delighted to reveal some of the amazing talent and industry speakers who will be joining us,” said the festival’s creative director Stewart Clarke. “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.”
Ayling-Ellis said: “I am so excited to be delivering this year’s Alternative MacTaggart lecture. 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.”
Best of Variety