Tweet the Controller

For the first time at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, the sessions involving channel controllers included simultaneous tweeting.

So, in keeping the festival’s convergence theme allmediascotland picks out some the most interested tweets from each session in the venue's Sidlaw Room, retweeted.

As Richard Klein, the controller of BBC Four, promises multimedia content for the channel and refuting internet rumours that the channel faces the axe. EdinburghTVFest tweets: “Peter Klien [sic] speaking about the twitter campaign to save #bbc4. Smith “These rumours must come from somewhere” 

ITV1 controller Peter Fincham has high hopes for new gameshow Red or Black. Rune Møklebust tweets: “Fincham, ITV: Big TV screens need big tv programs.”

Zai Bennett wants to take a new direction with comedy on BBC Three and promises a new Billie Piper series, Tom and Jenny. EdinburghTVFest tweets what he is looking for:

“Bennett – looking for more comedy success like Gavin and Stacey. Also 'weird crazy stuff that people don't get'.”

Janice Hadlow promises more live events and hails her new talent in the shape of Brian Cox, Mary Beard and Alice Roberts. But Ravi Amaratunga tweets: “How does multiplatform fit into your vision for 2?”

On Saturday, Sky's Stuart Murphy kicked off proceedings by describing how he wants to introduce a mixture of comedy to the channel but although tempted, steers clear of being too wacky. Robin Parker disagrees by twitter: “Murphy: 'Surreal stuff and anything that makes people try too hard doesn't work on Sky1'; what about This is Jinsy then?”

Jay Hunt, chief executive of Channel 4 faced a packed room as she talked about My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Alex Connock tweets Hunt’s attitude to risk-taking: “Jay Hunt C4 taking same creative risk approach as Google's Eric Schmidt. “Jump off a cliff.” she said. “Fail fast” he said.”

It was Sky Arts channel director James Hunt’s first year at the MGEITF. Hunt told the audience that the channel is not about ratings but reach, bringing in few but loyal followers. He answered in the affirmative to Matt Hemley’s tweet: “Is the sky arts south bank show awards returning next year?”

Danny Cohen, controller of BBC One brought in arguably the largest audience with Doctor Who writer, Steve Moffat, having to sit on the floor. Cohen told the audience that the channel wants to aim at older viewers and become more experimental with comedy. Yet he couldn’t speculate on cuts to BBC1 as Katie-Marie Bailey tweets: “Cohen – Had no starting point on what the cuts will be to BBC1's budget but will still see high quality programmes.”

Angela Jain, the new director of ITV’s digital channels faced a rather empty and tweet-starved Sidlaw room as The Only Way Is Essex workshop hijacked most of her audience. She praised her predecessor’s commission of The Only Way Is Essex. Although she hasn’t made her mark on the channels yet she plans to introduce a sitcom and more drama.

Ending the sessions was Channel 5’s Jeff Ford, outlining his new vision with more wildlife and engineering programming and the acquisition of Big Brother. Yet the controller faced tweeted criticism from Digital Spy’s Reality Bites: “Do you seriously expect Big Brother's ratings to stay strong when you swap 'celebs' for non-celebs?”

Leave a comment