The BFI Radio Times TV festival is back next year and here are some of the highlights

BFI Radio Times Festival 2019

Since the first one was in 2015 and the second one was 2017, I’m going to hazard a guess that the rechristened ‘BFI and Radio Times Television Festival’ is now a bi-annual thing, as it’s back at the BFI between 12 and 14 April next year. It’s a little far out to have the full details yet, but here’s what’s just been announced:

The BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, the biggest, most exciting public television festival in the UK, featuring the very best TV shows and a star-studded line up of talent, is returning for a second outing at BFI Southbank from Friday 12 April – Sunday 14 April 2019.

Over three days the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival will showcase some of the biggest hits on TV today, preview the most eagerly awaited new shows of 2019, celebrate classic series and perennial favourites and feature unique events that spotlight rarely-seen material from the BFI National Archive.

Some of the biggest names in front of and behind the camera will join audiences to discuss their work on stage at BFI Southbank. Guests already confirmed include:

  • Jed Mercurio, the man behind one of 2018’s most critically acclaimed programmes, Bodyguard, and creator of BBC One’s hit police corruption drama Line of Duty. Jed will be talking about the return of the hit series and introduce stars from the cast.
  • Jamie Oliver celebrates 20 years since the programme that launched him, The Naked Chef, which changed the way we cook. Jamie will be talking about his life and career and whisking up a classic recipe in a live demonstration.
  • Big Narstie (Tyrone Lindo), star of Channel 4’s cult comedy The Big Narstie Show, one 2018’s breakout hits, will be joining proceedings alongside co-star Mo Gilligan, aka Mo the Comedian.
  • For over 30 years murder has stalked Midsomer. Now the stars, past and present, of ITV’s Midsomer Murders reveal what it’s like to make one of the deadliest – and most popular – detective shows ever made.
  • The festival will also be celebrating one the most loved British comedies of all time, Dad’s Army. Three episodes from the second series – The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker, A Stripe for Frazer and Under Fire – were seemingly destroyed after they were first broadcast and are now being remade. Hear from the new cast about the making of the new shows.

The full line-up, with over 30 sessions over the weekend, will be announced in early 2019. Co-programmed by the BFI and Radio Times, the festival will draw on the expertise of both organisations, to entice a broad range of audiences from telly addicts and boxset-bingeing aficionados to those who love to discover archive gems and people who love nothing more than coming together to watch the latest in prime-time entertainment. This year’s festival will also include a strand programmed for and by young people, to reflect their radically different TV viewing experiences.

On sale dates

Thursday 7 February, 11:30 – BFI Champions and Patrons
Friday 8 February, 11:30 – BFI Members
Monday 11 February, 11:30 – Radio Times Subscribers
Friday 15 February, 11:30 – General public

Talent appearances subject to change. Please check the BFI website for updates to the programme and sign up for email alerts about the festival:


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.