'Crowngate' Controller To Give Keynote Speech at TV Fest

Submitted by edg on Tue, 29 Jan '08 9.21am

Former BBC One Controller and award-winning television producer Peter Fincham will give this year's keynote speech, the MacTaggart Lecture, at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.

The MacTaggart opens the three day festival of television, taking place this year 22-24 August, and is extensively covered in the British media.

In last year's McTaggart Lecture, Jeremy Paxman, in famously sardonic fashion, was highly critical of the decling state of television in Britain and in particular depreciating standards for broadcast news, including his employer the BBC.
Lord Brit and Michael Grade have also delivered the MacTaggart Lecture in past years.

Fincham resigned from the top BBC post in the wake of the royal furore over the documentary A Year with the Queen when, last October, he showed a trailer to press in which the monarch appears to storm out "in a huff" of a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz. On reviewing the original footage, it was clear that the Queen was entering the room not leaving it and she was in good humour.

It is likely that Fincham will give his take on the episode, one of the most talked-about events in broadcasting of 2007.

Said Fincham: "Being invited to deliver the MacTaggart is like being asked to be a guest on Desert Island Discs - you don't turn it down. It's an enormous honour, as well as an opportunity to reflect on the enormous challenges facing the broadcasting industry in the digital age. I'm looking forward to it with relish."

Peter Fincham Bio

Peter Fincham began his career as Managing Director of the independent production company talkback, transforming it into one of leading UK indies before selling it in 2000. He later became CEO of talkbackTHAMES and was responsible for long-running series such as The Bill, Pop Idol and The X Factor.

He left talkbackTHAMES in 2005 to become Controller of BBC One where he oversaw the commissioning of such successes as How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria, Joseph: Any Dream Will Do, Jane Eyre and Robin Hood. In 2007, BBC One won all three ‘channel of the year' awards - at the Broadcast Awards, from Televisual magazine, and at Edinburgh.