Doctor Who, Sherlock on Edinburgh TV festival bill

DOCTOR Who, Sherlock and Downton Abbey are among the shows set to take centre stage at the Edinburgh International Television Festival this year.

Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who. Picture: Contributed

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon is among the speakers at this year’s festival - which begins tomorrow - along with The Thick Of It creator Armando Iannucci, tennis coach Judy Murray and the producers of soap operas EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks.

Sherlock star Martin Freeman will join Mark Lawson in conversation to discuss his experiences working on both sides of the Atlantic, from the next Marvel film Captain America: Civil War to BBC sitcom The Office, in which he made his name.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Downton stars Phyllis Logan and Jim Carter will look back on the award-winning period drama as ITV prepares to air its sixth and final series, and Emmerdale producer Kate Oates, EastEnders’ Dominic Treadwell-Collins, Corrie’s Stuart Blackburn and Hollyoaks’ Bryan Kirkwood will reveal how they manage to come up with enough cliffhanger storylines to keep Britain’s soaps going all these years.

There will be an exclusive screening of the opening episode of The Magician’s Apprentice, the new series of Doctor Who, followed by a Q&A with executive producer Stephen Moffat, and director and screen writer Shane Meadows will introduce the final instalment of his This Is England TV series, This Is England ‘90.

On the opening day of the festival, Big Brother host Emma Willis will chair a discussion by eight leading TV producers about their experience living as housemates for just 24 hours, ahead of the return of Celebrity Big Brother this Thursday.

And Iannucci will deliver the 2015 James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture about the future of television with the licence fee under threat and more and more on-demand services entering the market.

• The Edinburgh International Television Festival will run until Friday August 28.