BBC2 editor Patrick Holland, ITV head of factual entertainment Sue Murphy and documentary maker Ross Kemp are among the speakers at this year’s Televisual Factual Festival, which takes place at BAFTA on 9th and 10th November

The Festival is the only UK event of its kind  – with a business focus on the expanding genre of factual – investigating the opportunities for independent producers. This year sees a 50-strong line-up of speakers, including top-level commissioners from the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Sky, Discovery, Channel 5, A+E and Nat Geo in documentary, specialist factual and factual entertainment. 

The Festival’s Meet the Commissioners session allows delegates to book to meet commissioners from a raft of key broadcasters, also including BBC Worldwide, Scripps and UKTV, for one-to-one meetings.

Panelists across 14 sessions feature internationally acclaimed producers and experts in the business of factual TV who will share learning and offer advice on developing factual shows for different markets that are looking for the expertise that UK factual producers can offer.  

A panel on the US market will include a look at how First Dates is being adapted by NBC; it will also pinpoint how October Films has quadrupled its US turnover. 

Delegates will get the latest word in demand from the SVoD broadcasters. Simon Chinn, co-founder of Lightbox, will talk about his experience of working to make a documentary series with Netflix, alongside producers that have worked on commissions with CuriosityStream and Red Bull. While Damian Kavanagh, helming BBC Three, the first channel in the world to switch to online, will share his digital learning curve.

Sessions across the two days will hear from experts in branded content and Virtual Reality. There will be inspiration from the best in the business to get your next factual ideas into the best shape for developing and pitching. And former Fox TV executive Simon Andreae, now heading up his own UK indie Naked Entertainment, will give a formats masterclass. 

The Festival will hear from several senior commissioners who are new in post, including Kelly Webb-Lamb, as head of factual entertainment at Channel 4 and Andrew O’Connell, vp of development and production at Discovery, briefed to find ideas for the US channels.

This year will see the Festival join together with Directors UK to produce a session featuring three top directors shedding light on their work on factual entertainment shows.

The Festival, now in its eleventh year, is a focal point for gathering inspiration and business know-how.

To book to attend the Festival, to find out more and to get regular updates on speakers at the Festival, go to



















Pippa Considine

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