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Sir Billy Connolly to be given lifetime achievement award at Edinburgh TV festival

Written by on 23/08/2021

Scottish comedian Sir Billy Connolly will be handed a lifetime achievement award at the Edinburgh TV festival, as the event kicks off in the Scottish capital.

Sir Billy will be given the gong for his contribution to the industry, and be interviewed by his wife, the performer and writer Dr Pamela Stephenson Connolly, where he will look back at his illustrious career, which includes comedy, music, TV and film.

Elsewhere at the event, which starts today, screenwriter Jack Thorne will deliver the MacTaggart Lecture while author Neil Gaiman will be in conversation with director Douglas MacKinnon.

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Thorne, who is best known for his work on productions like His Dark Materials and Enola Holmes, as well as the smash-hit play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, will talk about the “glaring problem” of the way in which disabled people are treated in the TV and film industry.

The Bafta award-winning writer, who has cholinergic urticaria, which makes sufferers allergic to their own body heat, says he will use his spot to highlight the representation of disabled people on screen.

The MacTaggart lecture has been an important part of the festival since 1976, with the likes of journalist Jon Snow, actress and writer Michaela Coel and Alan Partridge co-creator Armando Iannucci all having given the speech in recent years.

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Hollywood’s in-demand man Lin-Manuel Miranda, actress Whoopi Goldberg and climate activist Greta Thunberg will all also appear at the virtual festival, while comedian London Hughes will give the Alternative MacTaggart lecture.

Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings will also appear at the festival, albeit in Spitting Image puppet form, as well as the traditional appearances by the main TV channels.

The festival will run until 26 August.

 Sky News

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