Take a break from box set binging when the Pilot Light TV Festival returns for a second year to Manchester. The four-day telly fest celebrates the best in classic and contemporary shows. Here are five highlights we’re adding to our watch list this year.

1. Mad Men 10th Anniversary Screening
Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men was smart, sexy and stylish when it began ten years ago, and its impact on pop culture has never lost its sheen. This big-screen showing of pilot episode ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’ (Fri 5 May, 8.20pm, £9) will be followed by a panel discussion chaired by Dr Kirsty Fairclough, media lecturer and co-founder of Mad Men: The Conference.

2. Sugar Rush + Q&A Panel
Lesbian comedy drama Sugar Rush scooped an international Emmy with its story of teenage sexual frustration. It was created by Katie Baxendale, who has written for Eastenders and At Home With The Braithwaites. The Q&A after this screening (Sat 6 May, 8.20pm, £9) will star lead actress Olivia Hallinan.

3. New Comedy Heroes

New Comedy Heroes (Fri 5 May, Central Library, 9.30pm, £5) features the best of the web, with plenty of award-winning newcomers to watch. Highlights include the world premiere of mockumentary Getting Back With Dave Benson Phillips, featuring the cult children’s telly star, and the docu-horror I Am Tim Helsing.

4. Digital Creators UK Writers Room Event
London script doctors Digital Creators UK host a special writer’s room for web content creators (Sat 6 May, Central Library, 3pm, £5). Emerging producers will have their scripts put through the paces of a table read, with screenwriting experts and the audience giving their feedback on the work. DCUK hold open meet-ups every month in London and this is their first Writers Room in Manchester.

5. Brass Eye 20th Anniversary Special
Following a screening of all six episodes of the cult fake news programme that shot Chris Morris to notoriety, Brass Eye director Michael Cumming will present his new film Oxide Ghosts: The Brass Eye Tapes (Sun 7 May, 2pm, Gorilla, sold out). This is a world premiere for the film, which features unseen footage from the programme’s production. There will be a lively Q&A afterwards, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for ticket returns on this sold-out highlight of the 2017 Pilot Light TV Festival.

Thu 4 – Sun 7 May, HOME, Central Library & Gorilla, various event tickets and venue passes available, www.pilotlightfestival.co.uk

Thu 4 May - Sun 7 May
Fat Roland
Published on:
Mon 1 May 2017