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New tickets on sale for Rowan Atkinson, Lee Mack, Freida Pinto and many more stars at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival

Joe Wicks and the Hemsley Sisters are also among those on the bill – plus catch the premiere of Guerrilla from Oscar-winning John Ridley and Idris Elba

Published: Wednesday, 1st March 2017 at 10:51 am

Due to overwhelming demand, we are selling more tickets for all events at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, where you can catch Rowan Atkinson on the reinvention of Maigret, Lee Mack and Barry Cryer debating comedy, and Freida Pinto and Babou Ceesay premiering Guerrilla, to name but a few.


Other highlights include a look back at the making of Sir David Attenborough's Planet Earth II and a masterclass in How to Become a Social Media Star with food and fitness gurus Joe Wicks and the Hemsley Sisters, while the star-studded bill also features Dame Maggie Smith*, Aidan Turner, Jenna Coleman, Charlie Brooker, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Michael Palin, Julie Walters and Keeley Hawes (details of previously announced events here).

The three-day event – taking place from 7th-9th April at BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX – is set to see Downton Abbey actress Maggie Smith make a rare on-stage appearance on Saturday 8th April to reflect on her life on stage and screen.

The festival will include plenty of panel sessions around Britain's biggest shows, beginning with Maigret which opens proceedings on Friday 7th April with a session featuring star Rowan Atkinson and executive producer John Simenon, son of original Maigret creator Georges Simenon.

The Crown will take centre stage on Saturday 8th April with actress Claire Foy – who plays Queen Elizabeth – joined by executive producer Stephen Daldry to offer an insight into the making of the lavish Netflix drama.

Also on Saturday, Victoria stars Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes will take a break from their busy schedules filming series two to sit down for a chat with creator Daisy Goodwin and executive producer Damien Timmer about ITV's hit Sunday night drama.

Facing off against Victoria in the schedules last year was Poldark which also boasts a starry panel, with leading man Aidan Turner reuniting with writer Debbie Horsfield and executive producer Timmer (who heads up Mammoth Screen) to give fans a sneak peek of series three.

And completing Saturday's jam-packed line-up are events featuring the creator and cast of Line of Duty, the behind-the-scenes stars of Strictly Come Dancing and Countdown's Susie Dent.

Sunday 9th April will welcome another host of famous faces, with Charlie Brooker in conversation, discussing his work on Screenwipe, Dead Set and – of course – Black Mirror.

The last day of the festival will also see Doctor Who executive producer Brian Minchin joined by cast members to talk about filming the hit series, with clips offering a sneak peek at the 10th run – the final outing for showrunner Steven Moffat and star Peter Capaldi.

In addition, Sunday will see a discussion on the compelling sound of Sherlock, with Mark Gatiss, exec producer Sue Vertue and composers David Arnold and Michael Price all in conversation.

Susanne Bier and the team behind last year's smash hit The Night Manager will reunite to explain how they created water-cooler TV, while Last Leg host Adam Hills will join athletes Libby Clegg and Susie Rogers to talk about how Channel 4's Paralympics coverage has changed public attitudes towards those with physical differences. And comedians Lee Mack and Barry Cryer will come together to debate their craft and comedies past, present and future.

The three-day festival will also include a series of masterclasses, with Bafta winner Jack Thorne speaking about his work creating the likes of National Treasure, Skins and his forthcoming adaptation of His Dark Materials, and Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) joining the Hemsley Sisters to discuss How to Become a Social Media Star.

Families with young fans of CBBC football drama Jamie Johnson will be able to watch two brand new episodes on Sunday 9th April, followed by a panel with writers, cast, crew and a special celebrity guest. This event joins a programme of family-friendly sessions with Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo and the makers of Wallace and Gromit also appearing (more details here).

To buy tickets, visit


*Talent appearances are work permitting and subject to change. Please check the BFI website for updates to the programme


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