British politician and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to deliver the prestigious Alternative MacTaggart lecture at this year’s Edinburgh Television Festival, which takes place next week. The Labour Party leader will participate in a Q&A with BAFTA-nominated actress Maxine Peake following his speech, as well as take audience questions, the festival announced.
Corbyn has lately been in the eye of a media storm over allegations of anti-Semitism in his party. Phil Edgar-Jones, advisory chair of the TV festival, said: “Jeremy Corbyn has a fascinating relationship with the media, stimulating controversy on a near-daily basis. With that scrutiny in mind, it’s important to uncover his view of our industry in what will be his most comprehensive speech on the subject. I am looking forward to an engaging debate.”
Corbyn said he was “hugely looking forward” to giving the address, which has previously been given by speakers including “Divorce” creator Sharon Horgan, “Black Mirror” creator Charlie Brooker and “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci. Corbyn is not the first political figure invited to give the Alternative MacTaggart: Scotland’s leader, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, delivered the address in 2015 and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was invited in 2006. Last year the speech was given by comedian Russell Brand.
“A strong, diverse and independent media is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy and society,” said Corbyn. “I hope to offer some perspectives on the U.K. media and its role today, discuss how good journalism challenges the powerful and what is holding it back in the digital age of tech giants and unaccountable billionaires.”
This year’s Edinburgh Television Festival runs Aug. 22-24.