Edinburgh Television Festival: Satellite shopping tipped to boom despite cool reception: Rhys Williams catches up with the gossip among the media luvvies at the Edinburgh festival

HOW KEEN are the British on shopping by satellite? Not very, judging by the experience of the QVC satellite shopping channel launched in Britain last autumn which is losing dollars 15m ( pounds 9.67m) a year. But Barry Diller, the chairman and chief executive of the American company, told journalists in Edinburgh that the British were no different to Americans and that QVC would eventually surpass catalogues, although it would not replace shops.

STEVE HEWLETT, editor of Inside Story, the BBC's flagship documentary series, told a session debating the significance of Hollywood women that the focus and agenda of factual programmes had changed. They now concerned themselves with human interest stories, crime and royalty and the challenge for programme-makers was to try to expand that agenda. The problem was that those making the programmes had found out that this tabloid agenda was what the audience wanted.

'YOU CAN call me minister,' said a cheerful sun-tanned David Mellor, the former Secretary of State for National Heritage, who has returned early from a holiday in Switzerland to research over two days an updated Broadcasting Act. 'I've got survivability, I'm only rivalled by Jeffrey Archer,' he quipped.

MANY OF the luvvies and darlings gathered in Edinburgh for their ritual, August Bank Holiday bout of navel-gazing have been wrestling with the trials of getting great drama on screen. If only all programme ideas were as destined for the ratings stratosphere as the hypothetical series devised by Tom Gutteridge, chief executive of Mentorn Films, for a workshop on Saturday morning. Emergency West 10 - an everyday tale of swabs, scalpels and organ transplants, starring Letitia Dean as a pregnant brain surgeon, Wendy Richards as matron and Gillian Taylforth as a member of a crack new team of Range Rover-driving paramedics - always on hand for some roadside relief.

INTRODUCING Greg Dyke, the group chief executive and formerly managing director of London Weekend Television, before he gave the James MacTaggart lecture on Friday, Gus Macdonald, the managing director of Scottish Television, warned the audience that Mr Dyke tended to think faster than he could speak. 'At an LWT board meeting, the chairman put his head on the table. 'What are you doing?' a colleague asked. 'I'm looking for the end of Greg's sentences'.'

APART from the temperature of the draught Budweiser, the biggest moan in the bar of the George Hotel is: 'The BBC have had my script for months and I haven't heard a sausage.' Some exaggeration, surely? Not according to Jimmy McGovern, writer of the much-praised Cracker. 'Put it this way, I've just sent an anniversary card to my last script.'

STILL with Cracker, the programme's star, Robbie Coltrane, fended off one session chairwoman's suggestions that detective series were a 'bloated genre'. However, he did add that he would be only doing one more series (the third), a film in the new year and perhaps the odd special. 'You can see it now - Christmas Cracker.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Account Manager / Membership Manager

£35 - 38k + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Account Manager ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Advisor / Administrator

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This position will in the main ...

Recruitment Genius: Ecommerce Assistant

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the top Cosmeceutical br...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks