Media / Talk of the Trade: What takeover?

WHEN Andy Allan, managing director of Central TV, planned a dinner for the press to promote next year's programme schedule, he had no idea that by the time it happened the company would be the amenable victim of a friendly bid from Michael Green's Carlton, nor that the evening he chose - last Monday - would be the day the House of Lords approved the amendment to the Broadcasting Act that would make the takeover possible. As a result, the evening had a rather unreal air. Celebrities including Roger Cook and John Pilger watched a hi-tech promotional video that made no mention of the takeover at all.