Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 11:47 UK

BBC chief to give TV festival lecture

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson gave the speech in 2002 as chief executive of Channel 4

BBC director general Mark Thompson is to deliver the keynote address at this year's Edinburgh TV Festival.

Mr Thompson is to give the annual MacTaggart Lecture at the MediaGuardian event on 27 August.

The lecture often sets the tone for what is the biggest TV industry talking shop in the UK.

He has given the speech before, in 2002, when he was the chief executive of Channel 4 - when he called British TV "dull, mechanical and samey".

The last director general to deliver the speech at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival was Greg Dyke 10 years ago.

Media calendar

News International's James Murdoch, the late TV writer Dennis Potter and Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman have all made the speech in the past.

Mr Thompson said: "In what is a big year for the BBC as well as the rest of the broadcasting industry, it's a great privilege to be asked to give the MacTaggart Lecture, and I'm looking forward to it."

Deborah Turness, the editor of ITV news and advisory chairwoman of the 2010 festival, said: "Edinburgh is the first stop on the media calendar following the general election, and the MacTaggart will once again set the agenda for the weekend.

"In what promises to be a pivotal year for the BBC, I am delighted that Mark has agreed to share his vision with the Edinburgh audience."

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