Serious discussion or the ultimate beano for produce rs‘.’ David Housham previews theEdinburgh

International Television Festival

the least accessible Festival ofall. Despite the anticipated attendance of6()() delegates this year. the Edinburgh International Television Festival will no doubt remain as invisible an event as ever.

Members ofthe public are discouraged - they have to afford the £50 entrance fee to the intimate self-reflections of the broadcasting industry beyond the few stories which appear in the posh newspapers.

So what are the cream ofour tv executives doing in Edinburgh over an August bank holiday. except enjoying an agreeable expenses-paid break? It is a question the public is ill-equipped to ask. even if it is sufficiently interested to pose it. The average BBC or ITV delegate could not truthfully tell you that their presence is of any positive benefit to his company but. a conversation in the bar or a dinner with the right person can lubricate very beneficial career moves.

This year's TV Festival Chairman trom the BBC accepts a memorial Scottish sweat-shirt trom lounder Gus Macdonaldto demonstrate the ecumenical spirit of Edinburgh where ‘all guns are checked at the door' to encourage open debate about hovv to encourage the best in broadcasting.

The first Edinburgh Television Festival grew out ofthe ‘76 Film Festival and was the first official forum at which producers could debate and complain about restrictions on their editorial and artistic freedom. Since then. it has become less and less controversial and light-hearted ritualistic aspects dominate. Certainly no one wants to emulate Roger Bolton. ex-producer of Panorama who had the temerity to criticise the Beeb‘s treatment of current affairs in Edinburgh. only to find his job subsquently

Television and film writerTroy Kennedy Martin will deliver this year‘s MacTaggart Lecture. they key-note event olthe Edinburgh International Television Festival.

‘disinvented‘. Sessions are now

I increasingly designed to entertain

l delegates; one example this year being a competition in scheduling

between BBC’s Michael Grade and LWT‘s John Birt. It will be interesting to see how seriously the

; debate chaired by Roger Bolton on

The South verus the Rest will be taken Gus Macdonald has chosen not to be on the platform in order to be free to speak his mind from the floor. Real People Show is a session which asks if tv exploits ‘ordinary‘ members of the public too much for the sake ofentertainment in lly-on-wall documentaries like The Family and The Marriage and game shows like Blind Date. Flying in from the States for this is Chuck Barrister. creator of the Gong Show and The

Dating Game (the basis of Blind

Date). Other sessions include What

makes a thriller work. a discussion of investigative journalism in the light of the Rough Justice case and reports on censorship in South Africa. The

: opening McTaggart lecture is to be

i given by Troy Kennedy Martin.

5 writer ofthe award-winning Edge of

E Darkness.

The rest will be given over to

l industry issue the Peacock Report.

i Independent producers. Black and

! Women in tv. which through an

l incestuous and unimaginative

; selection ofspeakers will almost

1 certainly prove as inconsequential

and turgid as many similar sessions

i have been in recent years.


From 25-30 August

(not in Fringe Programme)

2pm BAGHDASAR AKHPAR The comedy masterpiece ofthe great Armenian satirist

Hagop Baronian

£3.00 for the two shows (inclusive)


Invites you to an afternoon of Armenian

See two shows for the price ofone


An interpretation of Armenian poetry in translation

(Uncle Balthazar)

Refreshments available in the interval

Venue 8 YWCA, 7 Randolph Place. Box ()fl'ic ‘: 225 4202

14 The’List 22 Aug 4 Sept