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
Monday 29 August 1994
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.'
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...