Edinburgh International Television Festival

Edinburgh International Television Festival

The Edinburgh International Television Festival, founded in 1976, is held annually over the British August bank holiday weekend at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Featuring prominent television industry voices and sessions covering pertinent issues facing the future of broadcasting, the Festival is best known for its keynote address; the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture. This was named in honour of the writer, producer and director who died in 1974. The lecture features prescient speeches from controversial and powerful media figures that reads like a who's who of British TV over the last 3 decades. In recent years this has included Greg Dyke, John Birt, Mark Thompson, Tony Ball, John Humphreys and in 1989, Rupert Murdoch. Probably the most well known speech was by an ill Dennis Potter in 1993 when he attacked the then chairman and director general of the BBC by saying; "you cannot make a pair of croak-voiced Daleks appear benevolent even if you dress one of them in an Armani suit and call the other Marmaduke."

John Birt returned to give the Lecture in 2005. The ex-ITV plc Chief Executive Charles Allen gave the 2006 lecture. Jeremy Paxman gave the 2007 lecture, using it to criticise what he saw as a loss of purpose and moral direction in the industry.

External links

* [http://www.mgeitf.co.uk/ Edinburgh International Television Festival Official Site.]
* [http://www.mgeitf.co.uk/about/keynotes/detail.asp?id=4085 Full List of Mactaggart Lectures]
* [http://media.guardian.co.uk/mediaguardian/story/0,7558,1553581,00.html Media Guardian: Who was James MacTaggart?]
* [http://media.guardian.co.uk/mediaguardian/story/0,7558,1553579,00.html Media Guardian: The Foresight Sagas, 10 of the best Mactaggart Lectures - Owen Gibson]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0534365/ IMDB entry for James MacTaggart]

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