Channel 4 news chief to examine ‘male behaviour’ in media at TV festival

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Channel 4 news chief Dorothy Byrne will deliver this year’s MacTaggart Lecture, closing the first day of the Edinburgh TV Festival.

Byrne is among the longest-serving heads of news and current affairs in British TV, and the sixth woman to give the prestigious address.

Her speech – in honour of producer, writer and director James MacTaggart – will address “male behaviour” in the industry.

Comedian Joe Lycett will also be in conversation with author and Labour MP Jess Phillips.

The pair will discuss Phillips’ headline-grabbing political style, the lack of political satire on TV screens and the impact of female political correspondents such as the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg.

Meanwhile, former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell will be in conversation with playwright James Graham.

Campbell, director of communications during Tony Blair’s time as prime minister, was expelled from the Labour Party in May after admitting voting Liberal Democrat in the European elections.

Alastair Campbell will appear during the first day of the festival (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The fervent anti-Brexit campaigner will explore Graham’s career so far, including his most recent work, Channel 4’s drama Brexit: The Uncivil War, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Sue Perkins will host a masterclass with Russell T Davies and Nicola Shindler, founder of Red Production Company and CEO of StudioCanal UK, to mark 20 years of acclaimed drama Queer As Folk.

RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant and Celebrity Big Brother winner Courtney Act will join author and political journalist Owen Jones on the panel exploring LGBT representation.

The Edinburgh TV Festival runs from August 21 to 23.