Michaela Coel to deliver an 'agenda-setting' speech to the TV industry | Chewing Gum creator to give the Mactaggart Lecture

Michaela Coel to deliver an 'agenda-setting' speech to the TV industry

Chewing Gum creator to give the Mactaggart Lecture

Chewing Gum creator Michaela Coel is to deliver the TV industry’s most significant keynote speech.

The writer and performer will be giving the high-profile MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at  the Edinburgh Television Festival this summer.

 She said: ‘I am overjoyed to accept this invitation; it seems in some way a celebration of the rapidly changing world we live in. 

‘But with the constant reshaping of our technological and political world comes a growing need to shine a light and be vigilant rather than complacent about the future of our industry. I feel honoured to contribute to this debate on such a prestigious stage.’

Coel started her career in 2006, performing poetry at open mic nights, and in 2012 wrote Chewing Gum Dreams as a graduation project from drama school. It went on to be produced at a number of theatres before being turned into the E4 hit.

The series has scoped handfuls of awards, and in her acceptance speeches Coel has often spoken of a need for more diversity in the business. At the Women in Film and TV Awards in 2016 she said: 'It’s for women who just by being darker than a paper bag or raised in low income homes are from birth statistically less likely to even hear about the opportunities and chances, that others in the world, and in our industry, feel a natural entitlement to.’

She has since guest-starred in BBC One drama London Spy, E4 sci-fi comedy-drama The Aliens, and in series three and four of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror series for Netflix. She also had a role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

TV  festival director Lisa Campbell said: ‘ Michaela is a hugely inspiring figure who has achieved so much in such a short time. With her distinctive voice, attitude and ambition this promises to be a ground-breaking and enlivening speech that will offer a completely different perspective. … I can’t wait to hear the passionate and agenda-setting speech she’s set to deliver.’

The MacTaggart Lecture has formed the centrepiece of the Festival since 1976 and has previously been delivered by the likes of  Dennis Potter, Ted Turner and Armando Iannucci.

Published: 29 Mar 2018

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