Emily Maitlis will deliver this year’s flagship lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival – her first major address since leaving the BBC earlier this year.
The award-winning journalist – who grabbed headlines around the world with her exclusive Prince Andrew interview in 2019 – will speak about the complex world of modern journalism and the challenges of holding power to account.
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.
The festival will be a fully in-person event this year, after several years online due to the pandemic.
The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture – named in honour of the writer, producer and director who died in 1974 – is the centrepiece of the festival, and this year will be exclusively streamed on Sky News.
The flagship address – which has taken place since 1976 – has previously been used as a platform for important policy announcements and agenda-setting speeches – with this year set to be no exception.
Previous esteemed lecturers include award winning actor and screenwriter Michaela Coel, former editor at large at Channel 4, writer and producer Armando Iannucci and broadcaster Jeremy Paxman.
This year’s festival will be chaired by former Sky News Social Affairs and Education Editor Afua Hirsch, with the theme: Can TV Change the World?
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 the coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Maitlis has worked across multiple news outlets including Sky News, Channel 4, NBC Asia and TVB, but she is probably best known for her 15 years with the BBC and anchoring its flagship news programme, Newsnight.
One of the most respected journalists working in Britain, she has interviewed presidents, prime ministers, Hollywood royalty and business leaders, and in her latest career chapter has joined Global, where she will host a new podcast alongside Jon Sopel.
Maitlis tweeted that she was “hugely honoured, extremely excited (and a little terrified…)” to give the MacTaggart Lecture.
In a formal statement she said: “The need to hold power to account without fear or favour is more urgent than ever before. We are good at documenting censorship and intimidation of journalists around the world. But we are sometimes too slow to recognise how and when it is happening in more subtle ways, closer to home.
“In many places the political actors, their style of communication and their relationship with the truth has changed. Journalism needs to respond robustly to that challenge.”
The Edinburgh Television Festival 2022 will run from Wednesday 24 August to Friday 26 August, with Sky News as its official media partner.