Featured Speaker - William Crawley
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Featured Speaker

William Crawley // Festival Chair

William Crawley is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster with the BBC presenting TV and radio programmes on subjects as varied as news and politics, arts and science, and religion and ethics. Since 2014, he has hosted BBC Radio Ulster’s daily current affairs programme Talkback, becoming only the fourth presenter in the programme’s 31-year history.  Previously, for 12 years, he hosted the weekly religion and ethics programme Sunday Sequence for BBC Radio Ulster.  He is also one of the regular presenters of the Sunday programme on BBC Radio 4, and often writes and presents documentaries for BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service.  His Radio 4 documentary Father of the Big Bang, which examined the life and work of the Belgian priest and cosmologist George Lemaître was also aired on America’s NPR network.

William has presented many TV documentaries and series for the BBC, including Blueprint, which mapped 600 million years of Ireland’s natural history; the interview series William Crawley Meets; It’s A Blas, which chronicled his attempt to learn Irish in a year;  The Man Who Shrank The World, which explored the engineering feat carried out by the scientist Lord Kelvin in creating of the world’s first transatlantic communications cable; and An Independent People, a history of Ireland’s Presbyterians. His most recent television work includes the RTS Award-winning 16-part series Brave New World, which explores the history of migration from Northern Ireland to the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In 2012, William Crawley was awarded an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University Belfast for services to broadcasting and became a recipient of the Eisenhower Fellowship. He is a Patron of the Belfast Film Festival, and a member of the board of Irish Pages, one of Ireland’s leading literary journals.

Will will be hosting a number of sessions throughout the festival find further information below:

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Our Venue

The MAC Belfast

The MAC is one of Europe’s leading art centres, situated in the heart of Belfast. Situated in the heart of Belfast’s bustling Cathedral Quarter, right behind Saint Anne’s Cathedral, the MAC houses three art galleries, two theatres, a bar/restaurant, family room and multiple rehearsal and office spaces.

Designed by architects Hackett Hall McKnight, the MAC has won numerous building awards including a RIBA National Award and was nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award and the Design Museum Designs of the Year.

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Our Sponsors

Principal Partners


  • Belfast City Council


  • PRS


  • Pact
  • Crawford McCann
  • Imagine TV
  • Creative Europe Desk UK
  • Virgin Media