Whoopi Goldberg Has Been Confirmed To Take Part In This Year’s Edinburgh TV Festival Taking Place On August 23-26 | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Whoopi Goldberg Has Been Confirmed To Take Part In This Year’s Edinburgh TV Festival Taking Place On August 23-26

27 May 2021



Leading television industry event, the Edinburgh TV Festival (ETF) brought to you by YouTube and Screen Scotland, today announced the first sessions for this year’s Festival.

Led by 2021 Advisory Chair, Georgia Brown, this year’s Festival theme is ‘Accelerating Change’, and will see a focus on what and how change is happening in the TV business at every level, what can and does happen as a result of the issues being highlighted and discussed at the Festival and the need to make positive change happen.

Following the success of the 2020 Festival which took place online, this year the Festival will be refreshing a number of the digital elements that proved so popular as part of a hybrid event, with the Festival week taking place between 23-26 August.

In the first sessions to be announced for 2021, the Festival will welcome Hollywood royalty and provide a new take on discussions with the industry’s leading decision makers.



The International Icon Interview with Whoopi Goldberg. With a career in TV, film, and theatre lasting over 40 years, and the only Black woman to have achieved the EGOT (winner of an EMMY, Grammy, Tony and Oscar), global icon Whoopi Goldberg talks candidly about her life on and off screen and her experiences as a multi-award winning artist, producer, author, entrepreneur and humanitarian. Goldberg will be characteristically frank in this one-on-one interview where she will share insight and anecdotes about a career spanning four decades. Who better to discuss how the entertainment industry has evolved, for better and worse and what it might look like in the future?

"We’re thrilled that Whoopi Goldberg is coming to the Edinburgh TV Festival,” said Creative Director, Stewart Clarke. “Across TV, film, and theatre her work resonates the world over and Whoopi truly embodies the ‘International Icon’ billing.

We are also eager to launch Spotlight,” he continued. “Our reimagined controller sessions which will bring a new, fresh approach to these hugely popular sessions and really dig into the industry trends that have a direct impact on commissioning.”

Spotlight On… The Festival’s flagship controller sessions will be changing to reflect the industry shift in commissioning. New ‘Spotlight’ sessions will feature one-on-one interviews with creative content chiefs and bosses including the Festivals’ Advisory Chair, Georgia Brown, Charlotte Moore, Ian Katz, Kevin Lygo, Marcus Arthur and Ben Frow.

Each will discuss their vision for their channels and platforms as well as addressing wider industry issues. The second instalment of the Spotlight sessions will see the commissioning and genre chiefs including Polly Hill, Sebastian Cardwell and Phil Edgar Jones, step in and give their take on programming trends and detailed updates on their specific content needs. The line-up so far includes:


Georgia Brown


Dan Grabiner, Head of Unscripted

And more TBC



Charlotte Moore, chief content officer


Kate Phillips, Director, Entertainment

Patrick Holland, Director, Factual

Piers Wenger, Director, BBC Drama


Channel 4

Ian Katz, Director of Programmes


Caroline Hollick,  Head of Drama

Danny Horan, Head of Factual

Phil Harris, Head of Entertainment & Events

Jo Street, Head of Daytime and Features & Head of Hub Glasgow


Channel 5

Ben Frow, Chief Content Officer


Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Director of Programmes

Daniel Pearl, Commissioning Editor, Factual and Current Affairs

Denise Seneviratne, Commissioning Editor, Factual and Factual Entertainment

Adrian Padmore, Commissioning Editor, Factual and Factual Entertainment

Kit Morey, Commissioning Editor, Factual and Factual Entertainment



Kevin Lygo, Managing Director, Media and Entertainment


Sue Murphy, Head of Factual Entertainment

Polly Hill, Head of Drama

Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment



Zai Bennett, MD of content, Sky UK and Ireland


Gabriel Silver, Director Drama

Jon Mountague, Director Comedy

Poppy Dixon, Director Documentaries and Factual

Phil Edgar Jones, Director Sky Arts and Entertainment

Lucy Murphy, Director, Kids Content




Marcus Arthur, CEO


Richard Watsham, Director of Commissioning

Hilary Rosen, Deputy Director of Commissioning

Pete Thornton, Head of Scripted

Further panels and sessions are currently being finalised and will be announced in due course.

Passes for this year’s Festival are available to purchase here.

Further information and details about the Edinburgh TV Festival and the TV Foundation can be found online and on Twitter: @EdinburghTVFest and Instagram: @EdinburghTVFest

About Edinburgh TV Festival
The Edinburgh TV Festival
brought to you by YouTube and Screen Scotland, is the UK’s foremost television event, bringing together leading industry figures and a broad, diverse range of delegates to celebrate and dissect the world of

global television production. Previous speakers and panellists include Sir David Attenborough, Charlie Brooker, Michaela Coel, Hugh Grant, Armando Iannucci, Louis Theroux, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mo Gilligan and David Olusoga.

The 2020 Festival became a hugely successful digital event as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic. The Festival offering is designed to support and connect the television delivering key, flagship moments that have become integral to the industry’s calendar, including The MacTaggart Lecture, Controller Sessions and Awards.

As a Festival and a charity, the Edinburgh TV Festival is committed to helping people from all backgrounds gain access to, and develop their careers further in, the TV industry.

In 2019 the Festival launched a new division – The TV Foundation; the charity umbrella that further expands its remit as the foremost charity dedicated to supporting the television industry. The TV Foundation runs two talent schemes; Ones to Watch and The Network which have helped over 4000 individuals since 1991, as well as supporting new initiatives such as TV PhD, the annual New Voice Awards, partnerships with industry initiatives and a year-round programme of events and support.

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