Media: Switched on to TV

ITN news trainee Louise Turner learns how success breeds success, at Edinburgh's television festival

FILM FESTIVALS show films. Arts festivals show art. So where is the TV at the TV festival? I went to my first television festival expecting to find a forum of creativity, the top names in the business discussing the next big thing. I envisaged directors showing their work, illustrating the medium at its very best. In reality, there was a predominance of suits talking policy and strategies.

Screenings were surprisingly scarce, revealing the festival's main purpose, which is to talk business not promote ideas. Perhaps a more apt name for the gathering would have been "television conference".

That aside, the festival was very enjoyable, a unique opportunity to see in the flesh those who make television happen. Of course it was also an unmissable chance to spot stars - and I was blessed enough to see Eastenders' very own Dot Cotton. The other stars of our small screen appeared to have stayed at home.

With all the talent at the TV festival it was surprising how little questioning went on in the sessions. There were some embarrassed silences when the issues opened to the floor. In some cases, the panel had to nominate chums in the audience to ask questions. For a group who should be so full of ideas, they were a dumb-struck disappointment.

One of the dominant themes of the festival concerned women's future in TV. The revelation that "women are going to be the new profession leaders" appeared a threatening point in this traditionally male-dominated world. A less surprising theme was the prev- alence of sex on our sets. To gauge what turns on the British public, exclusive research was carried out into responses to sex scenes. Delegates attended the "dramatic sex" session to vote on erotic clips. The surprise finding was that young and attractive couples were the biggest pleasure to watch.

This was the first party I had spent in a museum- the impressive Dynamic Earth Museum - and looking at the exhibits seemed to be more entertaining than the event itself. Having suffered the party for long enough I returned to the George Hotel to discover where the television executives had been drinking the night away.

The George becomes the centre of British broadcasting for festival weekend. It is far from the glitzy and glamorous place I had imagined, but is a Mecca for TV talent. Channel controllers and commissioning editors are targeted by programme-makers pitching ideas from every direction.

Networking success seems to come to those who are already successful. The other TV hopefuls are left clinging on to their extortionately priced drinks, smiling wanly at every passersby just in case they happen to be important. Second-glancing and blatant staring are common occurrences.

Sadly, as a Television and Young People (TVYP) delegate, I was not an instant target for networkers. The attitude of the television world to aspiring young hopefuls was summed up by Richard Eyre in the opening lecture when he waved and said hello to the TVYP group in a voice usually reserved for addressing toddlers.

As a news trainee at ITN, I felt patronised by my treatment at the festival. Apart from a few individuals, the majority of professionals saved their energy to talk to those who were of more use to them. TVYP is a fantastic scheme that gives young people access to television's big event. The master classes and workshops available show what paths are open to those entering the broadcast media and give an insight into the industry. However, delegates tend to be chaperoned between locations, as on a school outing, and this makes them inaccessible to others.

At the end of the weekend, I was exhausted. Non-stop sessions and attempts to network left me with an empty stomach, hours of sleep to catch up on, and few additions to my contacts book. I now have one week to prepare for my first step up the TV career ladder, and I hope one day to return to the festival and see everything from a rather different perspective.

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas