UK

Claudia Winkleman, TV bosses to discuss media’s future at Edinburgh TV Festival

Claudia Winkleman (Ian West/PA)
Claudia Winkleman (Ian West/PA) Claudia Winkleman (Ian West/PA)

Claudia Winkleman and bosses from BBC will be among the next batch of media figures who will be reflecting on the media landscape at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

On Wednesday, the event saw panel discussions from the heads of ITV, Channel 5, Netflix and Disney+ sharing their thoughts on their outlet’s current standing.

Veteran journalist Louis Theroux closed the day by delivering the annual James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture where he reflected on his own career as well as the current state of the BBC, with whom he has made a large number of programmes.

Edinburgh TV Festival
Edinburgh TV Festival Louis Theroux closed the day by delivering the annual James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture (Ian West/PA)

In the lecture, he said the BBC is in a “no-win” situation of trying to “avoid offence” and is in danger of avoiding important subjects in a bid to “play it safe”.

Thursday’s schedule will kick off with Theroux reflecting and answering questions which he raised in the speech.

Later in the day, the BBC’s chief content officer Charlotte Moore will discuss how the corporation is delivering value for all audiences.

She will also be joined by new director of drama Lindsay Salt, director of comedy Jon Petrie and director of unscripted Kate Phillips to delve into their commissioning strategies.

Heads of department at Sky will also talk about how they sift through content ideas and the ways they support producers to create stories while Channel 4’s chief content officer Ian Katz will join a panel of his key commissioning heads to discuss the current challenges and opportunities, as well as what’s next for the broadcaster.

There will also be discussions from department heads at Amazon’s Prime Video while Netflix executives will discussing the “secrets behind The Crown”.

The Crown
The Crown Imelda Staunton stars as The Queen and Jonathan Pryce as Phillip in Netflix’s The Crown (Netflix/PA)

TV presenter Claudia Winkleman will also sit down with broadcaster Kirsty Young for an interview to discuss her career after being awarded the outstanding achievement award.

The day will end with the Edinburgh TV Awards which will be hosted by comedian and singer Jordan Gray.

The final day on Friday will see screenwriters Sally Wainwright and Jesse Armstrong and actress Meera Syal speaking about their experiences in the industry.

During the proceedings on Wednesday, ITV’s managing director Kevin Lygo addressed how the broadcaster is handling the independent inquiry being undertaken in relation to Phillip Schofield.

Jane Mulcahy KC is currently leading an external review of the facts after Schofield exited ITV’s This Morning programme and the broadcaster itself in May after admitting to having a relationship with a younger male former colleague.

Speaking at the festival, Lygo said: “She (Mulcahy) has been talking to everybody involved, they take your phone and look at every single text you’ve ever sent, email, WhatsApp.

“So, everything is available, lots of interviews, talking to everybody and I hope as soon as possible, but probably in September, she will make that public.”

Phillip Schofield stepping down from This Morning
Phillip Schofield stepping down from This Morning Phillip Schofield (Jonathan Brady/PA)

ITV bosses have previously said both Schofield and his younger lover “repeatedly denied” allegations of a relationship until the former This Morning presenter departed from ITV and formally apologised.

Addressing how ITV handles duty of care, Lygo said: “We do, trust me, take it incredibly seriously.

“I don’t think we’ve got anything to hide and if we can adapt and change our processes to make it better, then we should do so on a continuing basis.”