Creative Brand Communications

Stellar Line-up for Edinburgh International Television Festival 2009.

LONDON, Wednesday 20 May 2009: The 34th annual MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival launches today at The Hospital Club with an impressive line-up of creative and industry luminaries.

The Chairman and Chief Executive of News Corporation, Europe and Asia, James Murdoch will give the MacTaggart Lecture, the BBC’s RTS award-winning Business Editor Robert Peston will give the Richard Dunn Memorial Lecture and Peter Fincham, Director of Television, ITV will interview Ofcom’s Ed Richards.

In 2009 the television industry is at a pivotal point of change. This year’s Festival will look at new revenue models, changing technology and the state of the global television industry. Delegates will explore how to make programming that keeps viewers engaged after the recent controversies around taste and decency as well as gain insight and practical tips from other industries in these challenging times. As the world experiences the biggest economic downturn in decades; the programme of events will also explore how the industry is coping with the credit crunch. The Festival runs from 28 – 30 August 2009.

Gerhard Zeiler, CEO of RTL Group is confirmed to give the Worldview Address and provide his unique insight into the state of the global television industry.

ITV stars Ant and Dec will take a break from their television presenting duties for a unique Alternative MacTaggart. The duo will be joined by Amanda Holden and surprise special guests to check out who in the industry actually has got talent in the festival opening session, TV’s Got Talent – Edinburgh Special.

The Wire creator, David Simon, notorious showbiz blogger Perez Hilton, the Top Gear team and actor Ross Kemp are also confirmed to give Masterclasses.

2009 marks a decade since the launch of the world’s most notorious reality TV experiment. The headline session 10 Years of Big Brother: How Reality Has Changed TV will explore the influence, history and controversy surrounding the Channel 4 juggernaut.

Controllers from all the major channels including Jay Hunt (BBC One), Janice Hadlow (BBC Two), Peter Fincham (ITV1), Julian Bellamy (Channel 4), Richard Woolfe (Five) and Stuart Murphy (Sky One) will be discussing their channel highlights and looking ahead to 2010.

Ashley Highfield, MD and VP, Consumer and Online, Microsoft UK and former BBC new media boss, will present this year’s Futureview Address, sponsored by MTV Networks. The session will explore cutting-edge issues in technology and their effects on the broadcasting and media industries.

New in-depth research about the BBC’s iPlayer will be exclusively released at this year’s Festival; providing the first insight into the popularity of the iPlayer and look at how performance affects commissioning and audience behaviour.

There will also be an important session on advertiser funded programming which will look at the exciting new opportunities for programme makers, channels and brands. Ed Vaizey MP, Shadow Culture minister, joins a panel of industry experts to explore the issues.

Channel of the Year Awards will be hosted by comedy star Michael McIntyre with winners chosen by a live audience vote on the night. Voting ends this Friday, 22 May 2009. To register your vote visit:

Elaine Bedell, 2009 MGEITF Advisory Chair and Director of Entertainment and Comedy ITV, said: “The line-up for this year’s Festival is even more impressive than before. At a time when the television industry is facing cutbacks and budgetary constraints, it is vital that the industry joins together to consider its future position and the Edinburgh International TV Festival is the ideal place for this to happen.”

Tim Hincks, MGEITF Executive Chair and CEO of Endemol UK, added: “We have secured yet another stellar line-up to ensure that 2009 will mean a great Edinburgh. It just goes to show that the Festival is the one media event you simply can’t afford to miss.”

This is just a taste of the amazing line-up for 2009, with more than 30 sessions still to be announced.

For MGEITF Press Information: Debra Johnson or Nicola Dann, Taylor Herring PR
Tel: +44 (0)20 8206 5151. Email: [email protected]


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