Edinburgh Television Festival: Glib becomes ITV formula for success: Rhys Williams on the Hollywood docu-glitz phenomenon and the failing fortunes of the Big Breakfast
Tuesday 30 August 1994
ITV's response to those bemoaning the supposed decline in serious factual output on the network will have the regulators reaching for the thesaurus once again next year - brace yourselves for Hollywood Kids and Hollywood Men.
HAS THE Big Breakfast's ratings bubble finally burst? Yes, says Christopher Stoddart, managing director of GMTV (not entirely a disinterested party in all of this), over a glass of champagne in the Cafe Royale.
Audience research suggests that the breakfast station, which was criticised by the ITC in the spring, has boosted its average ratings to 1.3 million (up 300,000 on last year), while Channel 4's Big Breakfast has fallen by 200,000 to 600,000 over the same period. There's hope still for Channel 4 - Chris Evans is due to leave in the next fortnight.
DAVID MELLOR was smiling broadly yesterday. His suggested changes to the Broadcasting Act were going down well and, there was that small matter of a pay rise for MPs, of whom he is one. 'I gather there's a bit of an outcry over a 4.7 per cent increase for what is largely unskilled labour.'
Still, he's proved pretty astute at capturing the mood of the festival and the tenor of many of the addresses. 'I am,' he said, 'the only person speaking at this festival who is not seeking a job in a Blair government.'
AS CONCERNS among the worthy grow over the quality of factual programming, attention is increasingly switching to crime re- enactment programmes.
Cross words poured from the normally honey-lipped Nick Ross, presenter of Crimewatch, in one session at the weekend. The substantial target was Michael Winner and his True Crimes show, decommissioned by ITV. Ross called it a 'TV whore' which did little to help the victims of crime. Winner, who has done his bit for Victim Support, dismissed this as the 'unedifying spectacle' of a man frightened about ratings. Ross has subsequently retracted the statement, saying it was made in haste and without realising it would be published - though, with a hundred or so gossipy media types present, quite how Ross thought it would not get beyond the session room is about as mysterious as why anyone should choose to watch True Crimes in the first place.
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientists who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia dubbed 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
- 5 Michael McIntyre walks off stage after woman in the front row uses her phone
Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: Olympic star must serve 10 years, prosecutor urges
Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: Athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
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