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Tuesday, 23 July, 2002, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Gervais takes Office to Edinburgh
Ricky Gervais in The Office
An episode of the new series of The Office will be shown
Ricky Gervais, star of BBC Two's sitcom The Office, and Joel Surnow, creator of the hit US TV drama series 24, will speak at this year's Edinburgh Television Festival.

Gervais will give a master-class in his hit programme, revealing the secrets behind the show.

He will also screen the première of a brand new episode in the much-awaited second series.

Michael Buerk
Buerk will discuss shows like Big Brother and Pop Idol
Surnow will make a special address to delegates via a live satellite link, talking to Jane Root, controller of BBC Two.

He will discuss 24's success, share his thoughts on the ground-breaking "real time" format and unveil details of the second series.

Other highlights of the annual festival, from 24 to 26 August, include a debate held by US chat show host Jerry Springer and the inaugural Channel of the Year Award - for both terrestrial and non-terrestrial TV.

The annual festival is the UK's major TV event, attracting many high profile delegates and the industry's top figures as speakers.

This year's key note McTaggart speech will be delivered by Channel 4's chief executive Mark Thompson.

Thompson's speech is expected to outline his vision for Channel 4, which recently announced it was closing its FilmFour division. He will also face interrogation from the floor.


Controllers of some the main terrestrial channels will also be festival guests.

BBC One's Lorraine Heggessey and Tim Gardam of Channel 4 will be publicly questioned about their policies.

Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith's White Teeth has been adapted for TV

Elsewhere, the major UK TV networks will come under scrutiny in specially dedicated sessions.

ITV's future in the wake of the collapse of ITV Digital will be debated in ITV's Rocky Road: Where Next?

Meanwhile, the BBC comes under scrutiny in The Golden Age of the BBC - a double edged sword? which examines concerns over the role and purpose of the corporation despite its current success.

The festival programme also features many programme-led debates.

They include a discussion of the dangers faced by foreign correspondents, especially following the events of 11 September and the escalation of violence in the Middle East.

There will be an exploration of the state of British TV drama, with Carolyn Strauss, of the US HBO network.

Ms Strauss will join a discussion on whether or not US drama series should be the standard-bearers to which UK drama looks.


Elsewhere, BBC News presenter Michael Buerk will examine whether UK TV is becoming obsessed with celebrity and the creation of shows such as Big Brother and Pop Idol.

His session is expected to give some insight into whether or not UK TV is too occupied by the power of the press.

The festival will also give a glimpse of some new series which will hit screens in the autumn, including the TV adaptation of Zadie Smith's acclaimed novel White Teeth.

Channel 4 will also unveil its new series of Faking It, while BBC Two will show highlights of a new series called Tomorrow La Scala!, which follows an opera company's performance of Sweeney Todd in a maximum security prison.

See also:

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