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Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Evans set for festival grilling
Chris Evans
Evans is known for his controversial views
Broadcaster Chris Evans has been lined up to speak at this year's Edinburgh International Television Festival in August.

Evans - one of the UK's most successful TV and radio personalities of the last two decades - will give the Richard Dunn Memorial Interview.


Chris Evans is a key voice of innovation, invention and importance, in television today

Charles Brand
The session will see Evans - known for his often controversial outspoken views - grilled in a one-to-one interview on Sunday 25 August.

Charles Brand, head of the TV festival's advisory panel, said: "Everyone is always interested in what Chris Evans has to say.

'Unique'

"Amongst other things, he has an amazing ability to know what people want and how to deliver it.

"He is a key voice of innovation, invention and importance, in television today."

Mr Brand added that delegates to the festival - mainly an industry event - would "benefit from his unique and potentially controversial views on the present state of the broadcast industry and his views on its future".

Chris Evans
Evans proved controversial at the BBC
Evans will be questioned at the festival by Kevin Lygo, director of programming for Channel 5, and the two will have a lot to discuss.

Evans has been out of the limelight for almost a year following his fiery departure from Virgin Radio and his marriage to teenage pop singer Billie Piper.

But it was recently announced that Evans would be returning to television to produce new commissions for both Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Sacked

Two productions for Channel 4, to be broadcast in 2003, include a live, studio-based entertainment format.

A nightly early-evening show on Channel 5 fronted by BBC Radio 1's Chris Moyles goes on air this autumn.

Danny Baker and Paul Gascoigne (right) with Evans
Celebrity friends kept Evans in the spotlight
Evans is said to have chosen Channel 5 because of Lygo, whom he worked under at Channel 4 when presenting his former entertainment show TFI Friday.

Evans married 18-year-old Billie Piper in Las Vegas in May last year, 12 months after he first met her on TFI Friday.

In June, he was sacked from Virgin Radio after failing to turn up for work six mornings in a row. It was not the first time he had left a radio station under a cloud.

Huge success

In January 1997, Evans left Radio 1 after his demands to work a four-day week were refused by station controller Matthew Bannister, and refused to go back into the studio to serve his notice.

Evans found TV fame as one of the original hosts of the Big Breakfast on Channel 4 and, along with Gaby Roslin, made the daily show a huge success.

He went on to devise and front the anarchic Channel 4 game show Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, which was smash UK hit - and an international success after Evans sold the format to TV stations abroad.

TFI Friday followed and though popular in the early days of the series was flagging in the ratings by the time it drew to an end.

The Edinburgh International Television Festival is an annual event which sees the industry's leading figures gather to discuss and debate the future of the medium.

Its highpoint is usually the MacTaggart lecture, usually given by a senior figure in the industry, which often causes controversy. This year it will be given by Channel 4 controller Mark Thompson.

The Richard Dunn Interview, which Chris Evans will be taking part in, focuses on "creative strategy and management style". It is named after the late chief executive of former ITV company Thames Television.

Coverage of the 2002 Edinburgh Festival from BBC News Online

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07 Jul 02 | Entertainment
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