The following speakers and decision makers will be present at Celtic Media Festival this year. More to be added soon!
Head of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund at Northern Ireland Screen
Áine Walsh is Head of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund at Northern Ireland Screen.
For over 10 years Áine has worked closely with the local Irish language production sector and broadcasters to deliver Irish language content across a range of genres and to develop the local production sector. She is also responsible for a number of training programmes for Irish speakers working or seeking to work in production.
Prior to this she worked as an assistant producer and producer in UTV, working across entertainment and documentary programmes, including The Kelly Show and A Day in the Life. She also worked as a radio presenter and producer for BBC Northern Ireland’s Irish Language Unit and as a radio producer with Radio Kerry.
Head of Commissioning, BBC England
Aisling O’Connor is the Head of TV Commissioning for BBC England, with a brief to re-invent the TV offer for the BBC England audience and to grow portrayal for the nation of England on Network as part of the BBC’s Across the UK commissioning strategy. She is based in Birmingham but works across six offices in England. She runs a growing indie slate of primarily factual programmes and also runs a large team making inhouse local Current Affairs. She recently relaunched England Current Affairs, delivering new series We Are England to prime-time BBC One in January 2022.
Aisling started her career in television 27 years ago at London Weekend Television
and has worked at all levels of production. She has been a BBC Daytime Commissioning Editor, a Music and Arts Commissioning Executive for BBC Two and BBC Four, an Executive Producer on the BBC’s flagship investigative current affairs programme Panorama and a Senior News and Current Affairs Adviser in BBC Editorial Policy.
While a BBC Daytime Commissioning Editor Aisling looked after 17 series concurrently including The Housing Enforcers, Great British Menu, Wanted Down Under, Heir Hunters and Bargain Hunt. As a Music and Arts Commissioning Executive she looked after programmes as diverse as The Secret of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for BBC Two and The Quizeum with Griff Rhys Jones for BBC Four. As Head of TV Commissioning for BBC England Aisling’s recent commissions include the series Brickies and Angels of the North for BBC Three, Commando: Britain’s Ocean Warrior, Villages By the Sea and Yorkshire Midwives On Call for BBC Two, Scarlett’s Driving School and Soldier: Made In Yorkshire (W/T) for BBC One and Jazz UK: Spitting Fire for BBC Four.
The two highlights of her career to date were executive producing U2 Innocence and Experience Live in Paris for BBC Music and flying to Chile (economy) to make a speech about public service broadcasting to broadcasters from around the world.
Aisling is from Killiney in Dublin, Ireland and lives in Hastings, UK.
Director General, TG4
Alan was born in Braemar in Scotland and holds an MA in French from Edinburgh University and a postgraduate MBA from the Open University in the UK.
After working in France, Switzerland and the Isle of Skye, Alan moved to Ireland in 1984 to a teaching position at University College Galway. In 1989 he became a member of the start-up team for Telegael, the pioneering independent audio-visual company in the west of Ireland.
Alan was appointed in 1995 to the senior management group of Teilifís na Gaeilge which launched TnaG in October 1996. He was a founding board member and treasurer of the Irish Film and Television Academy (1997-2000) and played a key role in the successful re-launch of TnaG as TG4 in 1999.
He was appointed Director of Television for TG4 in 2000 and then in December 2007 Alan returned to Scotland to help set up and successfully launch BBC ALBA, the Scots Gaelic television channel, where he was Head of Content for almost nine years.
In October 2016 Alan came back to work in Ireland to undertake the chief executive role at TG4 and in 2019 he was elected to the position of Chair of the Celtic Media Festival. TG4 became the 6th most watched channel in Ireland in 2019, its highest ever audience ranking. In 2021 Alan was appointed as a non-executive director of CREW, ‘Creative Enterprise West’, a collaborative initiative which is focused on the empowerment of digital creative companies in the west of Ireland to create, develop and scale globally.
Assistant Commissioner, BBC Gàidhlig
Calum McConnell is an Assistant Commissioner working across Scottish Gaelic services at the BBC, including commissioning and executive producing content for BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and BBC ALBA. Recent commissioning credits include Dàna | Scotland’s Wild Side, SpeakGaelic, Solus | Margaret Fay Shaw of Canna and Julie Fleeting, as well as heading up BBC ALBA’s factual acquisition slate.
Originally from the Highlands of Scotland, Calum learnt to speak Gaelic whilst completing a degree in Gaelic and Media at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye. During his nine years at the BBC, he has worked across a wide range of television and radio programmes in both Gaelic and English, including the award-winning Gaelic learners’ programme Beag air Bheag and topical comedy quiz show Breaking the News on both BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Scotland.
Singer, Performer and Linguist
Cass Ezeji is a singer and performer of critically-acclaimed bands Laps and Golden Teacher. She began singing at Glasgow’s Green Door Studio ten years ago, through the NEET (Not in Employment or Education) course where she met her future bandmates and collaborators.
Cass balances music and creative projects alongside her education. She in her final year of a five-year BA honours in French & Spanish at Strathclyde University. She has additionally studied in Belgium & Spain. She is a fluent Gaelic speaker and began studies in Arabic in 2019.
Aside from her education, she is engaged in ongoing research of Black Scottish History. She is interested in Scotland’s role in colonialism and its’ subsequent erasure from our national psyche and retelling through the prism of hero/victim. Through her essays and prose, she seeks to reinsert black and mixed-race narratives into the Scottish context and call for accountability.
As a Gaelic speaker, she is particularly interested in filling the historical voids that omit the experiences of black and other non-white Gaels. This work aims to expand and enhance the ways in which we think about Gaelic language and culture whilst amplifying marginalised voices.
Cass’s prose and poetry are informed by her Nigerian, Irish & Scottish heritage, as well as growing up in a Glasgow tenement with her mother. Through reflections on loss and shared memory, she examines her childhood spent with the girls, women, and single-mothers around her. These women continue to inspire her in all aspects of life.
Catherine has worked in radio sound for the BBC since 2000. Her specialism is sound design for radio drama, sound design for podcasts, binaural audio and 3D sound for 360 video. Catherine did the sound design for two BBC Wales podcasts: 'Shreds' a true crime series about one of the most shocking and notorious cases of injustice and 'Aberfan - Tip Number 7' an in depth story of one of Wales's worst disasters. Catherine also produces 'slow radio' programmes for BBC Radio 3 and documentaries for BBC Radio 4.
Executive Producer, Tinopolis
Catrin Evans is a BAFTA Cymru award winning TV producer, with her work spanning daytime, factual and current affairs series. Catrin started her career as a journalist at BBC Wales News and worked as BBC Wales Political and Europe Correspondent based in Brussels, covering national and international news and events. She is currently executive producer of Welsh language daily magazine programmes,Heno and Prynhawn Da, and series producer of debate show Pawb a’i Farn– Tinopolis productions for S4C.Founded by group Chairman Ron Jones in Wales in 1990,Tinopolis is one of the UK’s largest producers in the nation and regions with substantial production bases in Cardiff, Llanelli and Glasgow.
Commissioning Executive, Factual - BBC Scotland
David Harron is Commissioning Executive for Factual at BBC Scotland. He previously worked for many indies, BBC Scotland and stv as a producer and director on arts, documentary and sports programmes for various broadcasters. His credits include Grand Tours of Scotland, The Harbour, Danny MacAskill: Riding The Ridge, The Bridge: 50 Years Across The Forth, Teenage Millionaire: The Year I Won The Lottery, Scotland’s Game, Brian Cox’s Russia and Coming Oot: The Fabulous History of Gay Scotland.
Deirbhile Ní Churraighín
Commissioning Editor, TG4
Deirbhile Ní Churraighín, a native of Teelin, Co. Donegal, joined TG4 eight weeks before the channel was launched on Halloween night 1996.
She now has special responsibility for drama, including the channel’s soap Ros na Rún.
In addition, she oversees the development of new drama, long form and short form and with her colleague Máire Ní Chonláin, has responsibility for Cine 4, TG4’s feature film scheme with has garnered much positive attention, both at home and globally.
Founder and CEO, Bosena
Denzil Monk is the founder and CEO of ecosophical film company Bosena, based in West Cornwall. Developing a slate of features with backing from Film4, the BFI, The Uncertain Kingdom and Screen Cornwall including BAFTA winning writer/director Mark Jenkin’s Enys Men, Henry Blake’s (County Lines) second feature The Golden Radiance of a Beetle with producing partner Victoria Bavister and Esther May Campbell's (Light Years) second feature A Deft Pin to the Heart. Denzil is also engaged in research and innovation at Falmouth University as Project Lead, A Case for Cornish Public Service Media and in Knowledge Exchange at the Sound/Image Cinema Lab.
Chief Executive, MG ALBA
Donald Campbell joined MG ALBA as Chief Executive in July 2006 and was instrumental in the establishment of the partnership that launched the Gaelic television channel BBC ALBA in September 2008. Donald chairs the joint management board of BBC ALBA and has spoken at industry events in the UK and internationally. He has also previously been chair of the Celtic Media Festival. Prior to his career in Gaelic media Donald worked with Ernst & Young, where he worked as tax adviser on cross-border finance and major public-private infrastructure projects. He is also a trustee of an Ecuador-based charity. Donald was brought up on the Hebridean island of South Uist with Gaelic as his first language and received his university education in Rome, Italy.
Director/Showrunner from Portree, Skye.
Douglas has recently worked as Director/Executive Producer on Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant for Amazon & BBC Productions.
He is also known for directing Emmy-winning Sherlock Special episode (The Abominable Bride) for Hartswood/BBC Wales.
Douglas is also known for his work on Doctor Who, Line of Duty, Outlander and many more.
Senior Head of Content Productions, BBC Northern Ireland
Eddie Doyle is Senior Head of Content Commissioning for BBC Northern Ireland. Eddie is responsible for BBC Northern Ireland’s Commissioning Department. He commissions local and Network content, drives Nations-to-Network commissioning strategy, and established BBC NI’s successful partnership scheme with BBC Three and Northern Ireland Screen.
Previously, he worked at RTÉ in Dublin, where he commissioned The Young Offenders and Mrs Browns Boys, and launched and ran the investigative documentary strand Prime Time Investigates.
Eddie is from Belfast. He joined BBC NI in February 2018, to run in-house production, and was appointed to his current position in September 2019. He studied Law at Trinity College Dublin, has a Masters in Journalism from Dublin City University, and Diplomas in Strategy & Innovation from the Irish Management Institute. He has worked in print journalism, TV production and commissioning across multiple genres in the UK and Ireland, and received Ireland’s TV Journalist of the Year Award in 2001 for his work in Afghanistan.
Consultant, Executive Producer
Ewan Angus worked for the BBC for 32 years until 2018, more than half that time as Commissioning Editor for television at BBC Scotland. He has extensive experience of tv and film production and co-production within the UK and internationally.
Ewan is now a consultant and executive producer as well as Chair of BAFTA Scotland. He is also a board member of Creative Scotland and sits on its Screen Committee.
Head of Content - CRTVG
Fernando Ojea has been Head of Content of CRTVG, the Galician Corporation of Radio and TV since 2017. He leads the programming and in-house production of Televisión de Galicia (TVG), Radio Galega and the company’s digital services in all the different genres except those run by the News and Current Affairs Department. TVG and Radio Galega broadcast 24/7 on two digital terrestrial channels and two satellite channels to Europe and America as well as three radio channels with the main mission of fostering Galician language and culture. TVG comissions programmes, drama and documentaries as well as financially supports feature films. One of them, "O que arde", won the author’s award of the Cannes Festival in 2019. Some of these series and films are available on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime or HBO.
Alongside his role at CRTVG he is the Secretary General of CIRCOM Regional, the network of the European Public Service Regional Media, based in Strasbourg (France), since 2015. From his workplace in Santiago de Compostela he is currently managing this network of 250 TV stations in 30 countries (www.circom-regional.eu). He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the European Audiovisual Observatory.
Before this Fernando worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief at La Voz de Galicia and was the editor of Atlantico Diario, both daily newspapers of Galicia. While getting his diploma in Broadcast Studies in the University of A Coruña in 2009 he joined the Corporación Radio e Televisión de Galicia (CRTVG) as the Director of Communications and Social Outreach.
Founder, Tita and Tita B Productions
Fred founded Tita Productions in Marseilles in 2006, then TITA B in 2015, in Douarnenez, Brittany. Fred dedicates himself today to the development of the company and to the production of fiction films for cinema and television. He is committed to several professional associations (Films en Bretagne, Pôle Audiovisuel Douarnenez-Cornouaille), joint work and collective reflection are at the heart of his concerns.
The company Tita is based in two regional branches; one in the South of France (Marseilles) and the other in Brittany (Douarnenez). They produce 5 films per year, and our films have received selections and awards in the largest international events : Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, San Sebastián, Roma, Sundance, and have been distributed worldwide.
On the fiction side, they are finishing Helena Wittmann's 3rd feature "Human Flowers on Flesh". Recently they released in french movie theaters "Akelarre" by Pablo Agüero (now on Netflix), "Yalda, a Nigth for Forgiveness" (Grand Prix at Sundance Film Festival 2020), by Massoud Bahkshi, and achieved the second season of the TV drama "Fin ar Bed" by Nicolas Leborgne (France 3).
On the documentary side, Marlene Rabaud's "Congo Lucha", broadcasted on France 2, BBC and RTBF, won the Albert London Prize in 2020, and Loic Jourdain’s “The Tribe of Gods” (BBC, TG4, France 3) won the Torc “Spirit of the Festival” at Celtic Media Festival in 2021.
Commissioning Executive, Comedy, Drama and Entertainment, BBC Scotland
Gavin has worked in scripted television for most of his career having spent 14 years at The Comedy Unit before moving to the BBC to take up the role of Commissioning Executive. Since joining in 2018 Gavin has worked as co commissioner of scripted series including Guilt (BBC Scotland and BBC Two), Still Game (BBC Scotland and BBC One), Limmy’s Homemade Show (BBC Scotland and BBC Two), as well as local exec for River City, Scot Squad, Float and The Scotts. Gavin also execs entertainment for BBC Scotland including channel launch show A Night at the Theatre, Des Doesn’t Do, Iain Robertson Rambles, Breaking the News and Socially Distant with Susan Calman.
Commissioning Editor, BBC Comedy
Gregor has worked as a writer and producer for the BBC and in the independent sector. Based in Glasgow, he has acted as executive producer on a range of titles including This Country, Inside No. 9 and Ghosts, and commissions comedy from across the UK. He began his career as a researcher at Scottish Television before becoming a director working across Arts, Current Affairs and Childrens. He then began to specialize in Comedy, becoming an Executive Producer at BBC Scotland and developing and writing his own projects, including 5 series of the award winning comedy Two Doors Down (with Simon Carlyle). He has been working as a commissioning editor at BBC Comedy since 2011.
Drama Commissioner, S4C
After a successful and long standing career at the BBC, producing high end dramas such as Casualty and Keeping Faith, Gwenllian Gravelle is the Drama Commissioner for Welsh-language broadcaster S4C. Building on the recent renaissance of Welsh drama and the S4C led invention of Celtic noir, Gwenllian is focused on commissioning original drama that not only has a local feel but also a global world -class appeal. Her most recent commission is a compelling 6- part psychological thriller starring Joanna Scanlan, Alex Roach and Iwan Rheon . Y GOLAU/The Light in the Hall is S4C’s first co-pro with Channel 4/APC and Sundance NOW
Huw Edwards anchors Britain's most popular TV news bulletin, BBC One’s Ten O'Clock News. He also leads BBC coverage of major national stories and events, from state visits to local and national elections, crises to celebrations.
Originally a Parliamentary Correspondent, Huw has since won a BAFTA award, made a cameo appearance in the Bond movie Skyfall, and commentated on Barack Obama’s inauguration from a Washington rooftop. He has interviewed Presidents, Prime Ministers and major figures in all areas of public life.
Huw combines newsroom duties with presenting major national and state events, from Trooping the Colour to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, royal weddings to the spectacular opening ceremony at the London Olympics, watched by a record 27 million viewers in the UK alone. He has filmed The History of Wales and made documentaries on Gladstone and Mozart, among many others, and regularly visits schools as ambassador for the BBC Young Reporter project.
Comedy Writer, Producer, Showrunner
Ian has written for many top comedy shows. He was Executive Producer/Head Writer on MY FAMILY, and writer/show runner on three series of AFTER YOU’VE GONE (BBC). Three series of THE BREAK (Absolutely Productions) have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, with a fourth to follow in 2022. With James Hendrie, he wrote the BBC sitcom HOME AGAIN, and was commissioned to adapt Agatha Christie’s WHY DIDN’T THEY ASK EVANS? for the big screen. Among his other credits, Ian numbers MY HERO, DROP THE DEAD DONKEY, HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU, NOT THE NINE O’CLOCK NEWS, ALAS SMITH & JONES, THE LENNY HENRY SHOW, WEEK ENDING and NEWS HUDDLINES. He also co-created DIAL M FOR PIZZA (two series) and TALES FROM THE MAUSOLEUM CLUB (two series) for BBC Radio.
Director of Multiplatform Content
Iseabail is Director of Multiplatform Content with MG ALBA, which delivers the Gaelic language channel, BBC ALBA, in partnership with the BBC. She is responsible for MG ALBA’s content budget, as well as supply sector development. She has senior executive experience in commerce and broadcasting at a regional, national and international level. Iseabail’s broadcast career began at BBC News; she has been Member for Scotland on Ofcom’s Content Board and is a former board member of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Founder, Headgirl Media Ltd
Jackie Neill is a broadcasting expert with 30+ years editorial leadership and radio production experience at BBC Northern Ireland. Established as one of Northern Ireland’s most experienced radio professionals with profile and contacts across UK & Ireland.
In 2020 Jackie set up Headgirl Media Ltd and has been producing radio programmes as well as working as a trainer, mentor and consultant across the industry.
Jackie has a track record of developing and supporting new talent in front of and behind the microphone. As the Station Manager of Northern Ireland’s biggest radio station – BBC Radio Ulster, Jackie was responsible for smooth running of BBC Radio Ulster on air and behind the scenes. This involved commissioning and scheduling processes, managing compliance regulations, emergency contingency planning, safety management at outside broadcasts and recruitment and talent development.
Strong editorial leadership skills were developed as the Executive Producer of award-winning satirical comedy, sit-coms, live music, entertainment, documentary & magazine programmes. All this came with day-to-day talent management of some of Northern Ireland’s best-known presenters.
Jackie is has also trained as BBC Mentor. And earlier in her career was a producer with BBC Radio 2 and BBC 5 Live in Birmingham & London
For ten years Jackie was a committee member of the IMRO/PPI Irish Radio Awards Board and for almost 20 years Jackie has been a regular member of judging panels for the SONY, ARIA, PPI, IMRO and Celtic Media Awards.
Joanna Young, Development Producer, MacTV
Joanna looks after MacTV’s co-productions. Irish, but based in central Scotland, she develops, produces and makes regular trips to MacTV's HQ in the beautiful Hebrides. She has collaborated with production companies in Ireland, Wales and Iceland to find funding and make internationally distributed content, producing versions for broadcast on BBC ALBA in Scottish Gaelic and BBC Northern Ireland in English (Tide). Recent titles include Viking woman explorer documentary The Far Traveller, the story of intrepid Celtic saint Columba - The Bold Saint, award-winning natural history series Tide and recently premiered international weather series Rain: The Untold Story.
Commissioning Executive, BBC Northern Ireland
Justin has been the Commissioning Executive for BBC Northern Ireland for more than six years, during which time he has been executive producer across a range of genre from documentaries, specialist factual, features, arts, obs-doc, drama as well as comedy, entertainment and fact-ent programmes.
In addition to a long list of credits for independently produced local programmes for BBC NI from all major suppliers, Justin he has delivered a number of significant projects in co-production with network BBC or other broadcasters: including BAFTA nominated Patrick Kielty: My Dad, The Peace Deal and Me, Grierson winner – Wild Ireland, other major factual projects include Border Country, Bobby Sands: 66 Days and Beauty Queen and Single Justin also oversees BBCNI’s highly acclaimed single documentary strand True North, which provides a supply line to the network strand Our Lives.
Justin also commissions and EP’s firm audience comedy favourites like The Blame Game, Soft Border Patrol and Give My Head Peace. More recently he has overseen drama talent development and production scheme New Perspectives which delivered two new local dramas Counsel and Ups & Downs.
Working with the independent sector, in-house production and co-producers, Justin runs BBC Northern Ireland’s commissioning and development slate across all general programmes and is BBC Northern Ireland’s first point of contact for the submission and commissioning of new ideas and proposals.
Editor, BBC Gaeilge
Karen was appointed Editor, BBC Gaeilge in February 2013. She is a member of the commissioning team for Irish Language content and is responsible for leading the Irish language in-house teams and managing output on radio, television and online. Karen has worked as series producer, director, producer and presenter on a variety of programming for television, radio and online since she joined BBC Northern Ireland in 1995. She joined the Irish Language department as television producer in 2004 and has worked on projects both in-house and in the independent sector.
Journalist and Senior News Editor, BBC Wales
Karen is a journalist and Senior News Editor at BBC Wales and looks after BBC Wales’ current affairs unit which produces a range of content including an investigative strand of 30 & 60 min films, called Wales Investigates. She is an Executive Producer on two podcast series; Shreds: Murder in the Dock which tells the shocking story of a notorious miscarriage of justice, following the murder of 20 year old Lynette White on Valentine’s day in 1988 and Aberfan: Tip Number 7 which follows the tragic story of the disaster, as it unfolds, and documents the years of injustice felt by bereaved families and the local community. Karen is helping to Exec Produce a third podcast series on the last man hanged in Cardiff prison - Mahmood Mattan - whose conviction was quashed in 1998. The series is due to launch in September. She was also an Executive Producer on a three part (3 x 60) docs for BBC network called A Killing in Tiger Bay. It followed the successful podcast Shreds: A Murder In The Dock. Her team are currently working on a fourth series of programmes following the work of Gwent Police’s forensic investigators; Crash Detectives, which aired on BBC Wales and has run on BBC 1. She has also Exec Produced a number of programmes for Panorama.
Managing Director, Screen Cornwall
Laura has produced several shorts and award-winning feature documentary SONS OF CUBA. She has worked for the BFI, the BFC and Raising Films, and has a diploma in Script Development from NFTS. Laura was Associate Producer on iFeatures project MAKE UP, which premiered at London Film Festival in 2019, and has recently completed filming on microbudget feature THE TAPE. She is also a business advisor with Cultivator and director of Screen Cornwall.
Series Producer - RTÉ Documentary on One
Liam O'Brien is the Series Producer of the Documentary on One.
Liam began producing with the Documentary On One unit in 2005. Having been appointed Series Producer in September 2008, the Documentary On One has since gone on to win over 250 national and international awards - making it the most successful radio documentary unit in the world at present - and the most successful programme strand in the history of RTÉ Radio and/or TV (in awards terms).
To date, Liam has been involved in over 300 Documentary on One productions and has travelled extensively throughout Ireland and across the world (5 continents). During his time as series producer, the Documentary On One has developed a large and successful online presence with the availability of more than 1,600 documentaries on their website and mobile apps."
Content Commissioner, Factual, S4C
Prior to joining S4C in 2017 Llinos worked as a freelance producer/director for the BBC and numerous production companies in Wales, making documentaries and factual series in both Welsh and English. Among the extensive documentaries she’s produced are Welsh Towns (presented by Eddie Butler), A Garden in Snowdonia (BBC 2) and programmes for the Coming Home (BBC Wales) series, featuring actress Alison Steadman and politician Neil Kinnock. Before going freelance, Llinos worked for the BBC for over twenty years, and turned her hand to researching, presenting and producing for TV and radio. She won a BAFTA Cymru award for her documentary Josie’s Journey.
Director of Content, Cwmni Da
Llion spent 20 years as a journalist, producer and director, first with the BBC and then as a freelancer. He joined S4C as factual content commissioner in 2012 and his commissions include CMF Spirit of the Festival winners in 2013 and 2018. As Head of Content Distribution at S4C from 2016-2018 he worked internationally, co-producing with broadcasters in the Celtic countries as well as South Korea, China and Japan.
Currently Llion is Director of Content at Welsh indie Cwmni Da.
Maël Le Guennec
Head of Breton Language Programmes, France 3 Bretagne (France Télévisions)
Originally from the Donegal Gaeltacht of Gort a’Choirce, Máire is a respected broadcaster, presenter and producer. She has presented a number of TV series for both TG4 and BBC Northern Ireland and is also a presenter of Blas, BBC Radio Ulster’s Irish language magazine programme.
Máire has produced a wide range of TV series and documentaries for BBC Northern Ireland and TG4, including Bronntanas na Beatha (TG4/BBCNI); An tAmhrán Gaeilge (BBC NI); I Lár an Aonaigh (BBC NI) and An Focal Scoir (BBC NI).
She has just produced her first feature length documentary, Rocky Ros Muc (TG4/BBC Alba), which has recently been awarded the Global Vision Documentary of the Festival at the Boston Irish Film Festival, where the film had its world premiere.
Máire is currently head of Irish Language at Below the Radar in Belfast.
Mamen Casal Quintas
Production and Sales Coordinator for Ficcion Producciones
Mamen Casal Quintas, born in October 1991 in Santiago de Compostela, is currently the production and sales coordinator for Ficcion Producciones.
During the course of compulsory secondary education and high school, Mamen produced her first short film, at the young age of 16. Subsequently, and once she finished her mandatory studies she moves to Bournemouth University, where she is did the undergraduate degree ‘Film Production and Cinematography ', where she really delves into her professional appreciation for the audiovisual sector and she begins her interest in international sales and production. After the year she studied in the UK, she moved to Madrid where she was accepted into the prestigious school ECAM (Madrid Film and Audiovisual School), for three years Mamen studied the Degree in "Production manger &executive production", under the tutelage of great professionals such as: Enrique Urbizu (Director), Carlos Suarez (PDO), Walter Volpatto (Colorist), Javier Olivares (Producer) or Fernando Méndez Leite (Director of the center). Before finishing her studies Mamen started her professional career at the age of 22 in Bambú Productions (Velvet, Las Chicas del Cable, El Verano que Vivimos) in the department of production. It is worth highlighting her studies at the International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba, where she attended the master's degree called 'From the production Field Production to the International Executive Production’ under the tutelage of Sandy Liberson. Currently Mamen, is working at Ficcion Producciones where she coordinates the productions but also is in charge of the international co production and sales.
In December 2020 she was awarded with the MEDIA grant to Television Broadcasting for the fiction series '3 Caminos'. In her professional backpack we find projects like Velvet, Vivir Sin Permiso, 3 Caminos and currently Operation Marea Negra, the first production of Amazon Prime Video in Portugal after being introduced to the market by Ficcion Producciones.
Commissioning Executive, BBC Northern Ireland
Mary is a Commissioning Executive for BBC based in Belfast. She looking after a slate that includes Documentary, Popular Factual, and Scripted content.
She joined the BBC in 2007. Since then she has made a number of award winning Documentary and Current Affairs programmes, including the Iris Robinson investigation, The MP and the Whistleblower for Panorama.
She was part of the team that created the BBC Sounds Investigative podcast strand Assume Nothing. As a Commissioning Executive, she has managed a number of high profile programmes, including Murder in the Badlands, Heist: The Northern Bank Robbery, and Patrick Kielty: One Hundred Years of Union.
Michael O’ Keeffe
Prior to his retirement in May 2021, Michael had been Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) since 2009 and its predecessors, the IRTC and BCI since 1991. Over the course of his 30 years in broadcast regulation, Michael oversaw the introduction of the licensing of independent commercial and community radio and television services in Ireland; the development of codes and standards in programming and advertising together with a compliance and enforcement policy; the promotion of media plurality and diversity initiatives including gender and Irish Language action plans; and the implementation of the Sound and Vision and Archiving broadcasting funding schemes.
Michael currently sits on the Boards of the Celtic Media Festival and the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA). He is also Chairperson of the Alcohol Marketing and Communications Monitoring Body which is responsible for ensuring that alcohol advertising in Ireland complies with Department of Health codes.
Pádhraic Ó Ciardha
Pádhraic Ó Ciardha is a native speaker of Irish, former Chair of the Celtic Media Festival and Leascheannasaí (Deputy CEO) of TG4. He was a central figure in the establishment of the TG4. He has extensive experience in broadcasting policy and journalism. His previous background had been in academics.
Raisah is a Scottish Asian Muslim Writer/Director, based in Glasgow, working across television and film. Currently in development with Producer Zorana Piggott and Film 4 on WW1 feature, Half-Moon Camp, as well as developing a cross-generational female led road trip feature project 'Safar' with Zorana. Her writing credits include CBeebies shows Feeling Better, Molly & Mack, Swashbuckle, as well as Control, a Celtic Media Festival & RTS Scotland winning BBC The Social phone drama and Aden’s Journey a short drama about a refugee unaccompanied minor for the Celcis course ‘Caring for Children on the Move’. Alumni of the EIFF Talent Lab 2014, Raisah's BFI Net.Work commissioned short Meet Me By The Water premiered at EIFF 2016, it went on to be programmed by BBC Scotland’s ‘Next Big Thing’ programme. She directed one of BBC 3’s The Break III, 2018, CBBC’s ‘Sparks’, 2020 and most recently directed on CBBC’s ‘Princess Mirror-Belle’, 2021.
Head of Indie Relations, Channel 4
Rebecca Thompson is the Head of Indie Relations at Channel 4, and based in their Glasgow office. The focus of her role is on improving the commissioning process and indies’ experience of working with the channel, as well as supporting the drive to commission more from the Nations and Regions and managing the Emerging Indie Fund. Rebecca joined Channel 4 from leading FOCUS, a project offering business development support for film and TV companies in Scotland. Her previous roles include founding and running both Hot Tap Media, a digital production company, and Social Screen. She was previously a digital producer at KEO Films and a Commissioning Editor at Channel 4
Director, BBC Cymru Wales
As Director, Wales, Rhuanedd leads the BBC Wales Executive Teams and has overall responsibility for the content strategy and editorial priorities for BBC Wales across all media platforms and services – radio, video and online - in both the English and Welsh languages.
Rhuanedd started her career with BBC Wales as a journalist before presenting some of its flagship news and political programmes on radio and television. During the formative years of the National Assembly for Wales, she was a familiar face to viewers, reporting on the political developments in Cardiff Bay.
Having left the BBC in 2007 she worked as a special adviser to the Welsh Government, chief executive of Plaid Cymru and latterly as a policy adviser to the Presiding Officer of the Welsh Parliament.
In 2018, Rhuanedd returned to the BBC taking up the role of editor of Radio Cymru and Cymru Fyw before being appointed Content Director in 2021.
Originally from the Cynon Valley, Rhuanedd attended Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen. She then studied at Aberystwyth University and was awarded a BBC scholarship to study a post-graduate diploma in Cardiff University’s School of Journalism. Rhuanedd now lives in Pontypridd with her family.
Sanjeev Kohli is a writer/actor/broadcaster who also cuts keys. He is the co writer & co-star of award-winning Radio 4 comedy Fags Mags & Bags. He has also appeared in The IT Crowd, Fresh Meat & Look Around You, as well as writing for Chewin' The Fat & Goodness Gracious Me. More recently he was seen fronting Blethering Referendum on BBC1 Scotland. He's best known however as Navid, the shopkeeper from Still Game, whom he reprised in a 21 show run at the Glasgow Hydro. As an actor he would like to think he has range, although he reluctantly admits that all of his roles thus far in his career have been "Asian".
Comedy Writer, Performer, Producer
Sarah Breese is a comedy writer, performer and producer.
She started her television career in drama as a title sequence designer, working on Y Gwyll / Hinterland and Craith / Hidden, before making the move to comedy full-time in 2016.
As a writer and performer her broadcast credits include performing alongside Sally Phillips in BBC Wales sitcom Tourist Trap (BBC Wales), writing and performing in Welcome Strangers (Radio Wales), Stand-Up From BBC Wales, and appearing in Bravo Two Charlies (RW), Elis James' Cic Lan yr Archif (S4C), and Rhod Gilbert's Stand Up To Shyness (BBC). She has presented documentaries including No County for Young People (R4), Nothing Like A Dame (RW) and 40 Winks (RW). She co-wrote the sitcom Beena and Amrit for BBC Wales, and wrote Llenni for S4C.
She has produced stand-up specials featuring Elis James, Tudur Owen and more, four series of BBC Radio Wales series Welcome Strangers, and sitcom pilots including Jam (S4C) and The Golden Cobra (BBC Wales).
She was named as One to Watch by the Edinburgh TV Festival in 2019.
Based in Cardiff, and a proud Welsh speaker, she is currently developing a number of projects in English & Welsh for Television, Radio and Online.
Seán Mac Giolla Phádraig
Group Head of Factual, RTÉ
Seán Mac Giolla Phádraig is RTÉ's Group Head of Factual. Working alongside a team of commissioning editors, he has responsibility for a range of content, from documentaries and doc series to popular factual formats. Prior to this, Seán ran RTÉ television's in-house documentary department where he exec-produced a number of impactful documentaries and series, including Whistleblower, My Homeless Family, and the Celtic Media Award-winning The Crossing.
Chief Executive, S4C
Siân Doyle has been S4C's Chief Executive and designated Accounting Officer since January 2022.
Prior to S4C Siân has had extensive experience in the telecommunications and retail sectors in the UK, Canada and the United States. A former Managing Director of telecommunications company TalkTalk and prior to that she was Director of Retail at EE responsible for developing the retail strategy and leading a team of 3,500 staff across 600+ stores in the UK. She was also Senior Vice President, Retail of Comcast Cable in Philadelphia.
A member of the Board of Trustees of National Theatre Wales since 2019 she was also an independent non-executive member of the Digital and Health Care Wales, Welsh Government Board.
Educated at Ysgol Glan Clwyd, St Asaph she graduated in History and Politics from Cardiff University.
Commissioning Lead, Virgin Media Television
Sinéad Stimpfig is Commissioning Lead at Virgin Media Television. She is responsible for shaping and implementing Virgin Media Television’s commissioning strategy across all platforms. She is the first point of contact for indies in the commissioning process and works closely with the core content team to identify and nurture key commissions across all genres. Since joining VMTV in 2020, she has managed many key commissions, including international co-productions, such as Virgin Media Television and ITV drama Redemption and upcoming exciting brand new formats, such as The Clinic for Well People. Before joining VMTV, Sinéad worked as a freelancer for over 15 years, producing series such as Operation Transformation, Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip and Super Garden.
Sioned William was Comedy Commissioner for BBc Radio 4 from 2015 to 2022. Before that she held a number of high profile posts including Controller of Comedy for ITV. Between 2006 and 2010 she worked as an executive producer on six films for Boomerang/S4C. She has also written a number of successful novels.
At Radio 4 Wiliam nurtured some of comedy's biggest rising stars including Rosie Jones, Sophie Willan, Daliso Chaponda, Alex Edelman, Jon Holmes, Lost Voice Guy and Mae Martin, as well as established names such as Alexei Sayle, French and Saunders, Angus Deayton, Bill Bailey, Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam.
She also commissioned Stephen Mangan’s The Confessional, Gossip and Goddesses with Granny Kumar, and Now You're Asking with Marian Keyes and Tara Flynn.
MD, Giddy Goat Productions
Founder and Managing Director of Giddy Goat Media, specializing in comedy production: broadcast, online and live. His personal TV producer credits include Have I Got News For You (for which he was nominated for a BAFTA), Never Mind the Buzzcocks (for which he wasn't). Audio is king again, these days. Recent producer credits include Meet David Sedaris, Prepper (winner: WGGB Best Radio Comedy 2019) Between Ourselves with Marian Keyes, Woof, Broken Dream Catcher - all for BBC Radio 4, Bravo Two Charlies for BBC Radio Wales and series of special concerts of music and readings with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for BBC Radios 3 and 4. He is married to Vanessa and they have 2 teenage children. He finds writing about himself in the third person unnerving.
Sports Editor, S4C
Sue began her career in radio sport at BBC Wales, before moving to London and television as a producer for BBC Sport and Events working across FA Cup finals, Football World Cups, Wimbledon, Six Nations Rugby, Grand Nationals, World and European Athletics Championships, three Olympic and two Commonwealth Games.
Leaving the BBC and moving back to Wales to raise three children, Sue worked as a freelance producer within the independent production sector for BBC and Channel 4 shows. She was part of the host broadcast teams for the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Sue joined S4C in 2015 as lead on the channel’s sports coverage. Since then the channel’s sports portfolio has grown substantially on both linear and online digital platforms. S4C now broadcasts around 500 hours of sport each year.
As commissioner, Sue is responsible for identifying sports content, securing broadcast rights and maintaining editorial and production standards for all sports output both live, and scripted.
She works with sporting governing bodies, including UEFA, World Rugby, the Football Association of Wales and the Welsh Rugby Union, and broadcasters, including Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime, BBC and ITV.
Increasing the range of sports, both women’s, men’s and grass roots, and developing S4C’s platforms to consume this content forms an important part of the current S4C sports strategy.
Comedian, Writer, Broadcaster
Tim McGarry is a former lawyer turned comedian, writer and broadcaster. He has worked extensively on television, radio and stage for over 25 years.
He is one third of creative team behind the Hole in the Wall Gang Limited. Tim is best known for co-writing and co-starring as Da in BBCNI’s hit TV sitcom Give My Head Peace which first aired in 1998. Tim produces the annual stage show version of Give My Head Peace which tours all over Northern Ireland. Tim is also the host on the award-winning radio and TV comedy panel show, The Blame Game
He produces, co-writes and co-stars in A Perforated Ulster the long-running and award-winning topical sketch show on BBC Radio Ulster.
As well as comedy Tim was Executive Producer on Pop Goes Northern Ireland a 32 part archive programme for BBCNI that deals with the history of the Troubles in NI. He co-wrote and presented 2 Ulster Scots programmes for BBCNI in 2013 and 2015, Tim McGarry’s Ulster Scots Journey and a two-part documentary about the Ulster Scots language Minding Our Language
In 2021 Tim was an Executive Producer on the documentary Edward Carson and the Fall of Oscar Wilde, hosted by Wilde’s grandson Merlin Holland, for BBCNI and RTE. Tim co-presents The Long and the Short of It - a documentary series for BBC Radio Ulster exploring controversial aspects of Irish history along with Orangeman Dr David Hume.
In October 2021 the show won a prestigious IMRO Award for Best Specialist Speech Programme.
Head of Acquisitions & Partnerships, TVF International
Will is responsible for managing and developing the acquisitions strategy and content partnerships at TVF International, the UK's leading and longest standing independent distributor of documentary and unscripted programming. Will has worked in international distribution for over a decade on both the sales and acquisitions side in all territories worldwide. He has acquired more than 2,000 hours of programming from award-winning producers across the globe and regularly assists with deficit financing and coproductions. Will advises on international edits and is Executive Producer on several recent productions. He runs a team of five Acquisitions Execs based out of TVF’s London office.
Diversity & Inclusion Lead, RTÉ
Zbyszek Zalinski is a native of Łódź, Poland. He joined RTÉ in 2007 and has held a variety of roles across all radio services, including researcher, presenter, and assistant producer and, after taking part in the producer course, producer on both 2FM and RTÉ Radio 1. He holds a doctorate in political science from Trinity College, Dublin.
As Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Zbyszek helps RTÉ better reflect the Ireland of today – among those who make the programmes and support our different services, as well as those who appear on them.