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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 August 2006, 23:20 GMT 00:20 UK
Channel 4 crowned top TV network
Davina McCall and Dermot O'Leary
Big Brother 7 has been among Channel 4's hits over the past year
Channel 4 has been named terrestrial TV channel of the year by an industry panel at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

It follows 24 hours of bickering among leading media figures about whether the network sufficiently served viewers.

ITV chief executive Charles Allen called for its remit to be overhauled but C4 insisted it had "more serious programming" than other channels.

BBC Four won the non-terrestrial services award, with personality of the year going to Sir David Attenborough.

His groundbreaking wildlife programme Planet Earth received the programme of the year honour.

And there was recognition for Russell T Davies, executive producer of the recent revival of Doctor Who, who was named industry player of the year.

The judges comprised media figures such as Dawn Airey, managing director of Sky's channels, Chris Shaw, senior controller of Five, and Alison Sharman, ITV's director of daytime and factual output.

'Greater scrutiny'

On Friday, ITV's outgoing chief executive Mr Allen attacked Channel Four, saying it should "grow up" and face greater scrutiny of its programmes.

Mr Allen used the prestigious MacTaggart lecture, the centrepiece of the festival, to say that the channel needed fewer repeats and more original shows.

Mr Allen said Channel 4 "enjoys very significant privileges via its public ownership", while making "absolutely no return to either the Treasury or to its shareholders".

Channel 4 dismissed Mr Allen's attack, saying it had "a far broader and more challenging mix" of shows than on ITV.

The channel added it was "far more effective" in meeting its remit than ITV, and broadcast "commercial programming alongside a diverse mix of public service output".


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