David Harewood to interview BBC chairman at Edinburgh TV Festival

David Harewood will interview BBC chairman Richard Sharp at this year’s Edinburgh TV Festival.

The festival will be a fully in-person event this year, after several years online due to the pandemic.

Its theme is: Can TV Change the World?

Sky News is the official broadcast partner of this year’s Edinburgh TV Festival, and will bring exclusive coverage on mobile, TV, and podcast over the three-day event.

A person stands outside the BBC Broadcasting House offices and recording studios in London, Britain, January 17, 2022.REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Image: The BBC has faced cut backs due to a licence fee freeze

The BBC has faced cutbacks following the government’s announcement at the start of the year that the licence fee will remain fixed at £159 until April 2024.

After that, it will then rise in line with inflation for the following four years, up to the end of the current Royal Charter on 31 December 2027.

There have been various discussions about possible alternative models for the BBC to find funding, including subscription models, advertising and a broadband levy.

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Homeland star Harewood will also be involved in a second session, where he will chat to festival chair and former Sky News social affairs and education editor Afua Hirsch.

Harewood, who was appointed MBE for services to drama in 2012, has worked across film, theatre, and TV and achieved success in both the UK and the US.

He has also received much praise for his work on mental health and social issues.

Born in Birmingham, Harewood first began his acting career as a member of the National Youth Theatre before earning a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) aged 18.

Speaking of his involvement with the festival this year, Harewood said: “I’m really excited to be headed to Edinburgh TV Festival this year.

“I’m keen to have some open and honest conversations about my experiences across my acting career, but also to discuss how we can really navigate the changes that are taking place across TV and what the future holds.”

File photo dated 05/09/18 of Emily Maitlis. Speaking on Good Morning Britain, the Newsnight presenter has voiced her support for Newswatch host and colleague, Samira Ahmed, who is pursuing an equal pay complaint against the BBC.
Image: Emily Maitlis will deliver this year’s flagship lecture

The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture – the centrepiece of the festival, which will this year be given by Emily Maitlis – will be exclusively streamed on Sky News.

Other highlights include Succession star Brian Cox talking about his seven-decade spanning TV career, Strictly winner and EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis giving the alternative MacTaggart speech, and Sky News’ longest-serving foreign correspondent Stuart Ramsay – who was shot in the back while reporting from Kyiv – speaking on a panel about coverage of the war in Ukraine.

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A special edition of Ian King Live will be presented from the festival, and go in-depth into the business of television, looking at how consumption habits have changed and how the battle of the streaming giants is shaking out.

A special Sky News Backstage podcast will also be recorded at the festival, sharing the biggest new programming announcements, TV gossip and interviews with some big names appearing at the event.

The Edinburgh Television Festival 2022 will run from Wednesday 24 August to Friday 26 August, with Sky News as its official media partner.