Welcome to the MacTaggart Lecture Archive.

The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture is the Edinburgh International Televisions Festival’s keynote address. The lecture was named in honour of the writer, producer and director who died in 1974, and has fast established itself as a platform for important policy announcements and agenda-setting speeches.

Take a look through the video and transcripts below to explore a selection of MacTaggart lectures from the past two decades.

► MacTaggart Lecture Videos



Kevin Spacey
Academy Award Winning Actor, Director & Producer


Elisabeth Murdoch
Shine Group


Dr Eric Schmidt
Executive Chairman


Mark Thompson
Director General


James Murdoch
Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia
News Corporation


Peter Fincham
Director of Television


Jeremy Paxman
Newsnight, BBC

► Full list of past James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture speakers

2013 Kevin Spacey, Academy Award Winning Actor, Director & Producer - View Transcript

2012 Elisabeth Murdoch, Chairman, Shine Group  - View Transcript

2011 Dr Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google: Television and the Internet - Shared Opportunity  - View Transcript

2010 Mark Thompson, Director General, BBC - View Transcript

2009 James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia, News Corporation: The Absence of Trust - View Transcript 

2008 Peter Fincham, Director of Television, ITV - View Transcript 

2007 Jeremy Paxman, Broadcaster, Newsnight, BBC: Never mind the scandals - what's it all for?  - View Transcript 

2006 Charles Allen, Chief Executive, ITV: The Billion Pound Question  - View Transcript 

2005 Lord Birt - View Transcript

2004 John Humphrys - View Transcript

2003 Tony Ball, Chief Executive, BSkyB - View Transcript

2002 Mark Thompson, Chief Executive, Channel 4 - View Transcript

2001 David Liddiment, Director of Channels, ITV Network:  - View Transcript

2000 Greg Dyke, Director General, BBC: A Time for Change - View Transcript

1999 Richard Eyre, Chief Executive, ITV Network Centre: Public interest broadcasting - a new approach  - View Transcript

1998 Peter Bazalgette, Managing Director, Bazal - View Transcript

1997 Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, Writers - View Transcript

1996 John Birt, Director General, BBC: A Glorious Future - Quality broadcasting in the digital age  - View Transcript

1995 Janet Street-Porter: Talent versus Television  - View Transcript

1994 Greg Dyke - View Transcript

1993 Dennis Potter, Playwright and Director - View Transcript

1992 Michael Grade, Chief Executive, Channel 4: - View Transcript

1991 David Elstein, Director of Programmes, Thames Television: The Future of Television - Market Forces and Social Values View Transcript

1990 Verity Lambert, Independent Film and Television Producer, Cinema Verity: Deregulation and Quality Television View Transcript

1989 Rupert Murdoch, CEO News Corporation and proprietor, Sky TV: Freedom In Broadcasting View Transcript

1988 Christine Ockrent, journalist, broadcaster: Ethics, Broadcasting & Change - The French Experience

1987 Phillip Whitehead, documentary producer, MP: Power and Pluralism in Broadcasting

1986 Troy Kennedy Martin, writer, creator Z-Cars, Edge of Darkness: Opening Up the Fourth Front - Micro Drama and the Rejection of Naturalism

1985 John Schlesinger, Oscar and BAFTA-winning director: Refections on Working in Film and Televison

1984 Denis Forman, Chairman, Granada Television: The Primacy of Programmes in the Future of Broadcasting

1983 Jonathan Miller, stage director, writer and broadcaster

1982 Ted Turner, founder, CNN

1981 Peter Jay, economist, broadcaster, Chairman of tv-am: The Day after Tomorrow - The Future of Electronic Publishing

1980 John Mortimer, screenwriter and author: Television Drama, Censorship and the Truth

1979 Jeremy Isaacs, Chief Executive, Channel 4, BAFTA and Emmy winning producer: Signposting Television in the 1980s - The Fourth Television Network

1978 Norman Lear, Emmy winning producer and writer: Taboos in Television

1977 Marcel Ophuls, Oscar and BAFTA winning director: Naturalism and Television

1976 John McGrath, Playwright, Director, Founder of 7:84 Theatre Company: TV Drama - The Case against Naturalism