Kevin Spacey, the Academy Award-winning actor and artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London, will bring a touch of Hollywood star power to this year's Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, delivering the keynote MacTaggart lecture, reports the Guardian.
Spacey, who recently starred in Netflix's online-only remake of House of Cards, said he would be reflecting on "a time of huge opportunity, innovation and creativity for all of us who live to tell stories and engage audiences" in his speech to senior U.K. TV industry executives in late August.
He added that as a newcomer to the TV industry and an "Edinburgh TV festival virgin," he had no idea what he was letting himself in for.
Elaine Bedell, the executive festival chair, said: "Kevin Spacey has been at the centre of cultural life both here in the U.K. and in the States for many years – and now with House of Cards, he has shown that he is also at the forefront of new ways of delivering television content to audiences.
"I've no doubt that his speech in Edinburgh will be as blistering, honest, and entertaining as any of his extraordinary performances on screen and stage."
The MacTaggart traditionally opens the festival, now in its 38th year, and sets the tone for debate on issues confronting the industry during the event, which this year runs from August 22 to 24.
Previous speakers have included three Murdochs (Rupert, James and, last year, Elisabeth), the Google executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, U.S. media mogul Ted Turner, several BBC director generals (including John Birt, Greg Dyke and Mark Thompson, twice each), the late Dennis Potter and Jeremy Paxman.
The 2013 MacTaggart will be the first delivered by a Hollywood A-lister.