Commitment to Scottish TV to be Questioned at Festival

A debate about the extent of TV’s commitment to regional production, from the likes of Scotland, is one of the highlights of this year’s Edinburgh International Television Festival, which unveiled its full programme yesterday.

Assisted by panellists, Stuart Cosgrove (head of programmes (Nations and Regions), Channel 4), David Strachan (Tern Television Productions) and Menna Richards (Controller BBC Wales), the media editor of The Guardian, Matt Wells, asks whether there is a ‘Great Nations and Regions Swindle’.

The timing could hardly be better, given weekend reports that both heads of ITV and BBC feel there are not enough good programme ideas coming out of Scotland. But many Scotland-based producers will claim the problem is less a lack of good ideas and more an insufficient counter-balance to the close social links that will exist between London-based commissioning editors and producers working close by.

Also at the festival, the father of missing four year-old girl, Madeleine McCann, is to speak about the role the media has played in his family’s tireless campaign to find his daughter. Gerry McCann is to be interviewed by Kirsty Wark.

The festival takes place between the 24th and 26th of next month.

Other highlights include:

The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture: Jeremy Paxman

Jeremy Paxman is a modern broadcasting legend (although he would retch at the description). Presenter of BBC2’s Newsnight since 1989, he is best-known for his sometimes fearsome interrogation of politicians. He is also the impatient quizmaster of BBC2’s University Challenge and has written several books on British politics and society. In his MacTaggart lecture he will tackle the subject of Power, Politics and the Media, reflecting on ten years of Labour government and its relationship with the media. He will respond to Tony Blair’s recent description of some in the media as “feral beasts” and will examine the role and responsibility of television in tackling public cynicism about politics.

Top Gear – Star in a Car

They are the creative forces of the industry.They make the decisions.They get the viewers…Sometimes! But how will they fare versus the unbeatable Stig? To open this year’s event, four top TV Executives do the battle of the laps – can they hold their nerve or will they be exposed as a bunch of Sunday drivers? Sponsored by The Farm.

Merton, Widdecombe and Sweeney…