The Radio Times festival has moved to the South Bank

Last year saw the hosting of the first Radio Times festival. As I pointed out when I went, it was a slightly odd affair hosted in a park opposite Hampton Court, with plenty of illustrious speakers, book signings, pop-up food shops and regular old book shops. 

Maybe it’s oddness, the strange location and the difficulty booking tickets, particularly on the day, that meant that there wasn’t one this year, as the Radio Times events team had a rethink. But next year, it’s back on 7-9 April, this time in association with the BFI, who had a bit of a presence at the first event but wasn’t the co-organiser. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s therefore being held at the BFI Southbank and there aren’t quite as many things to see, given there are only three theatres. But the preliminary programme is out now, there’s plenty to watch – not just from the UK but from overseas thanks to Walter – a few authors and a bit about the radio, too. You can buy tickets today if you’re a BFI patron or champion, tomorrow if you’re a BFI member and Monday if you’ve not already given the BFI a big lump of cash this year. 

Friday
Radio Times Hall of Fame: Michael Palin

Join us as comedian, actor, writer and globetrotter Michael Palin takes us on a journey through his amazing life.

East of Ipswich
Palin’s acclaimed, bittersweet ‘near autobiographical’ drama about a teenager’s first sexual experiences on a seaside family holiday.

Saturday
TV Premiere: The Durrells
Screening of the first episode of the new series, followed by an on-stage chat with members of the cast and crew.

Call the Midwife
Join series creator Heidi Thomas as she shares the secrets of the show alongside executive producer Pippa Harris and cast members.

Victoria Wood: A Tribute
Julie Walters and colleagues come together to share their memories of the late, great Victoria Wood and introduce some memorable clips.

Victoria Wood: Two Creatures Great and Small + Victoria Wood at the Albert Hall
Two gems from Wood’s career that capture all her brilliance as an award-winning stand-up performer

Sunday
Hetty Feather + Meet Jacqueline Wilson
Watch two new episodes of the enchanting CBBC children’s drama, and meet author Jacqueline Wilson, creator of Hetty Feather and ex-children’s laureate, and selected cast and crew.

The Archers: The Trial of Helen Titchener
Louiza Patikas (Helen), Tim Watson (Rob) and former Archers editor Sean O’Connor reveal the inside story of Rob and Helen.

Judith Kerr and Michael Morpurgo
Two of our best-loved children’s authors, Judith Kerr (The Tiger Who Came To Tea) and Michael Morpurgo (War Horse) in conversation.

Mark Gatiss: From League of Gentlemen to Sherlock
Writer/actor/comedian and fantasy maestro Mark Gatiss talks to Radio Times Television editor Alison Graham about his favourite TV moments, including Sherlock.

Walter presents: TV Premiere: Merciless + Meet Walter
Following this bold Brazilian drama meet Walter Iuzzolino, curator of Walter Presents, the service introducing international TV dramas to the UK.

Walter presents: TV Premiere: Locked Up
Season 2 opener of the Spanish prison drama + interview with actor Berta Vázquez, co-creator Iván Escobar and Walter Iuzzolino.

Radio Times Hall of Fame: Steven Moffat
Steven Moffat – showrunner of two of the UK’s biggest TV shows, Doctor Who and Sherlock – in conversation with Frank Skinner.

TV Premiere: Guerrilla (Sky Atlantic)
Exclusive preview of a Sky Original 1970s set thriller about a group of black power activists in London + cast and crew on-stage.