Broadcaster, writer and campaigner, Carol Vorderman MBE, will be the Alternative MacTaggart speaker at the 2024 Edinburgh TV Festival, brought to you by Screen Scotland.

As well as presenting, Carol Vorderman is a political commentator and campaigner. With a passion for everything mathematical and a skill with numbers, Vorderman made a name for herself when she started her TV career in 1982 as the maths genius on Countdown, working with the late Richard Whitely for 22 years and then with Des Lynam and Des O’Connor, until she left in 2008.

Awarded an MBE in 2000 for her services to broadcasting and having appeared on and presented a raft of the nation’s favourite TV shows, Vorderman currently hosts a weekly radio show on LBC, a daily quiz podcast ‘Perfect 10’, the Pride of Britain Awards and is now also known for her political activism.

Vorderman grew up in a single parent family in poverty in North Wales with her sister, brother and her beloved mum. As a free school meals child in a comprehensive, she went to the University of Cambridge when she was just 17 years old. Now with an extensive broadcasting career under her belt, Vorderman has become a significant voice in the political landscape with a passionate determination to hold those in power to account. September this year will see the publication of her new book, ‘Now What? On a Mission to Fix Broken Britain’.

For the Alternative MacTaggart, Vorderman will bring her extensive experience in TV and frontline of social media campaigning to her address at this year’s Festival. She will then be interviewed in more detail to discuss the themes of her speech.

On giving the Alternative MacTaggart, Vorderman said: ”I feel honoured to have been asked to be this year’s Alternative MacTaggart speaker. As our industry transitions, there is much to discuss. 42 years on the box, hosting shows for all channels, it’s been an interesting life! I choose to live a life outside of the media thrall of London and I live without apology. Beware the post-menopausal woman who doesn’t give a damn! I’ll see you in Edinburgh.”

The TV Festival Creative Director, Rowan Woods and Advisory Chair, Harj Chhokar, commented: “This year’s Alternative MacTaggart will be delivered by a true TV legend. Since making her debut on Countdown, the first ever programme on Channel 4, Carol Vorderman MBE has been part of the DNA of the UK television industry and a mainstay of our screens. She is also a funny, fearless and ferocious commentator on everything from politics to social mobility, sexism and education. We know her Alternative MacTaggart is going to be one of the must-see events of this year’s festival.”

Other speakers already confirmed for the Festival include  music artist and tech entrepreneur, producer, Warren Littlefield, writer Sarah Phelps, actors Julie Hesmondhalgh and Rakhee Thakrar and The Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm executive producer, Andy Wilman, as well as playwright and dramatist James Graham who will be giving the MacTaggart lecture.

The Spotlight On… sessions return with the decision makers from across the mainstream, digital and streamer broadcasters revealing what’s hot and what’s not on their content strategy for the year ahead.

Further sessions will be announced soon.

Pippa Considine

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