Discovery’s Howard Swartz, Channel 4’s Kelly Webb-Lamb and BBC Two’s Patrick Holland will feature as the three big interviews at this year’s Televisual Factual Festival.

This year’s Factual Festival will take place on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th November at The Curzon Soho.  

On the Wednesday, controller of BBC Two Patrick Holland will be in conversation with Sanjay Singhal, chief executive of Voltage TV to discuss Holland’s vision for the channel after three years of leading the way to define BBC Two’s spirit and tone.

While BBC Two is the biggest factual channel in the UK, Discovery is leading the factual charge on a global scale, as it plans extensive international streaming services. Also on the Wednesday of the Festival, Howard Swartz, senior vice president of Production and Development, Documentaries and Specials for Discovery Channel in the US will be talking with Arrow co-founder Tom Brisley about the opportunities for UK producers.

Channel 4 is going through the biggest structural change in its history, with a new HQ and new faces. Deputy Director of Programmes and directly across Factual Entertainment, Features and Daytime, Kelly Webb-Lamb is at the heart of this restructure and will give critical insight into the changes now and going forward.

Across the two days, 50 top level speakers will include the UK’s key commissioners for Documentary, Factual Entertainment and Specialist Factual.

Following her inspirational MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival in August, Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4’s head of News and Current Affairs, will join our Where’s the Big Doc? panel at the Televisual Factual Festival  to interrogate whether and why we have fewer, in- depth TV productions that take to task the most important and difficult issues of our day.

Sessions designed to help build your business will include a bang up to date overview of services that are commissioning factual in the UK. Panels will explore the anatomy of a factual hit, with a focus on BBC/ Studio Lambert’s Race Across the World. And with programme funding becoming an ever-increasing challenge, experts in financing will ask where to find the next investment.

With key commissioning executives from all the core factual channels for UK producers, speakers will include leading fact ent commissioners: David Brindley, head of Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment commissioning, BBC, Greg Barnett, commissioning editor, Factual Entertainment, Channel 5, Hilary Rosen, head of Factual & Factual Entertainment, UKTV and Sarah Lazenby, head of features and formats, Channel 4.

The Festival’s Documentary commissioning panel will see Clare Sillery, head of commissioning, Documentaries, BBC and Danny Horan, head of Factual, Channel 4 joined by Guy Davies, commissioning editor, Factual, Channel 5 and Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual at ITV.

Chaired by Liesel Evans, creative director of UK Factual, Raw TV, the Festival’s specialist factual panel will hear from Bernadette McDaid, commissioning editor, National Geographic, Fatima Salaria, head of Specialist Factual for Channel 4, BBC commissioning editor Abi Priddle and Victoria Noble, senior director and executive producer, Production & Development, Factual Discovery Networks International

Our nations and regions panel will hear from senior Channel 4 and BBC commissioners, alongside executives from PACT and from Skillset.

To find out more and to book tickets, go to the Festival website.

Staff Reporter

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