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Jon Snow, Sir David Attenborough and Line of Duty creator among Edinburgh TV Fest line-up

Jon Snow (Ian West/PA)
Jon Snow (Ian West/PA)

SOME of the biggest names in British TV will discuss the state of the industry as the Edinburgh International Television Festival gets under way today.

Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow will deliver the prestigious James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture, a keynote address regarded as the centrepiece of the three day event.

House of Fraser BAFTA TV Awards 2016 – Press Room – London
Jon Snow (Ian West/PA)
Previous speakers including Rupert Murdoch, Kevin Spacey and Armando Iannucci. 

Last year it was delivered by Vice founder and chief executive Shane Smith

Comedian Russell Brand will also address the festival when he takes part in the Alternative MacTaggart talk.

Russell Brand attending a launch event for charity RAPt's new employment services for addicts and ex-offenders at the London Recovery Hub.
Russell Brand (Jonathan Brady/PA)
The comedian and actor will discuss his body of work, his commitment to comedy and how he has been affected by fatherhood when he is interviewed on stage by the co-host of his Radio X show, Matt Morgan.

Sir David Attenborough will also appear as he celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Natural History Unit (NHU).

Ancient damselfly named in honour of Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough (David Parry/PA)
The BBC department produced hit documentaries Planet Earth II and Blue Planet – both narrated by Sir David – as well as long-running documentary series Natural World and Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch.

The nature expert, 91, will join the department’s head Julian Hector to discuss some of the most ground-breaking moments throughout the unit’s 60 years, as well as the positive impact it has had on our understanding of the environment.

Other speakers due to appear at the festival include Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio and star Vicky McClure and former England footballer Rio Ferdinand.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge with the award for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme in the press room at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Ian West/PA)

The three-day event will also include discussions about fake news, podcasting and Snapchat.

The Edinburgh International Television Festival runs from August 23 to 25.