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Toast of London star Matt Berry to appear at inaugural TV festival in Salford


BAFTA-winning comedy actor Matt Berry will be discussing his work as part of one of the UK’s first TV festivals, organised by a University of Salford graduate.

Berry, the star of Toast of London and The IT Crowd, is among the figures appearing at the Pilot Light TV festival, taking place at the University’s MediaCityUK campus and in the city centre’s HOME and Gorilla venues from May 5 to 8.

The festival, which also includes a rare screening of a banned BBC drama, has been coordinated by Salford film studies graduate Greg Walker along with academics from the university.

It is being held as part of the wider Create Festival, running until June, which showcases the best work of the university’s School of Arts and Media students and celebrates the university’s close links with the creative industries.

The festival will include a retrospective of cult comedy Nathan Barley The festival will include a retrospective of cult comedy Nathan Barley

Berry will be appearing as part of a special 10th anniversary screening and panel dedicated to the cult black comedy Snuff Box, which he created alongside Rich Fulcher, and will take part in a Q&A session with Michael Cumming of Brass Eye and Charlie Hanson, who produced the show along with comedy series such as Extras, Derek and Desmonds.

Other major events coming to Pilot Light include a retrospective of Nathan Barley, Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker’s satire about pretentious East London media types.

The festival will include a screening of episodes from the influential show, following by a Q&A with Andrew Harrison, culture writer from The Guardian, along with Charlie Condou, who played Jonathan Yeah? and is also known for playing Marcus Dent in Coronation Street.

Festival director Walker, who has previously organised the Grimmfest horror film festival, said: “There are so many film festivals now, but we’re living in a golden age of television, and I wondered why nobody was putting on festivals to acknowledge the significance of this medium – so I created my own.

“While people typically watch TV on their own, Pilot Light turns that idea on its head and creates a new communal experience. This is a great line-up, featuring screenings of new and old shows, along with some fascinating insights from experts and the creators of those shows, and I hope Pilot Light will become an annual event in Manchester and Salford.”

Dr Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, senior lecturer in media and performance at the University of Salford, said: “This is an incredibly impressive event, demonstrating both the calibre of the graduates we’re producing here as well as our close links with the creative industries.”

For a full festival line-up and box office, visit

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