Google Chief to Deliver Keynote Lecture at Edinburgh TV Festival

The executive chair of internet search engine giants, Google, has been lined up to give the keynote speech at this year's Edinburgh international Television Festival.

Dr Eric Schmidt will give this year’s MacTaggart Lecture at the festival, which is sponsored by MediaGuardian.

Says a statement issued by the organisers: “Dr Schmidt will be discussing the impact of the internet revolution and how the television industry can engage with new technologies.”

He is quoted, saying: “I have always been a profound optimist about the potential for technology to improve people's lives – though I am also a realist and understand it can be immensely disruptive in the process. So I look forward to discussing the opportunities and challenges ahead for the TV industry in Edinburgh.”

Also quoted is the festival's advisory chair, George Entwistle, saying: “Television was supposed to be dead and isn't; on demand was supposed to have triumphed and hasn't. It’s the perfect MacTaggart for an industry at the convergence crossroads, the chairman of Google will give us a steer on the way ahead that no-one can afford to miss.”

It is the first MacTaggart to be given by someone with no obvious connection with the TV industry. Last year's lecture was delivered by the BBC's director-general, Mark Thompson. 

Past MacTaggart speakers also include James Murdoch, Dennis Potter, Michael Grade, Verity Lambert, Ted Turner, Greg Dyke, David Liddiment, Peter Fincham, Charles Allen, Jeremy Paxman, John Mortimer and Rupert Murdoch.

The festival takes place between August 24 and 26. For more details, click here