Screenwriter-producer to give 'alternative' lecture

LONDON — The much-feted U.K. screenwriter and producer Paul Abbott will give a high-profile address at this summer’s International Edinburgh Television Festival.

Abbott, creator of such shows as “Shameless” and “State of Play,” is to present the gabfest’s Alternative MacTaggart lecture.

Talk will be entitled The Truth About Long-Term Thinking.

He said: “It’s an exciting time to comment on the British TV industry’s reaction to, and performance since, the credit crunch.”

The three-day talking shop, whose keynote MacTaggart lecturer is BBC director-general Mark Thompson, also features master classes with the new “Doctor Who” showrunner Stephen Moffat and award-winning drama producer Andy Harries, who helped mastermind the Oscar-winning “The Queen” starring Helen Mirren.

One of the most keenly anticipated sessions will be Build Your Own BBC in which festival goers decide which parts of the pubcaster should be scaled back.

Said festival advisory chair Deborah Turness: “With the Conservative/Murdoch alliance now in Number 10, Mark Thompson’s MacTaggart could not be more timely.

“The big question is will David Cameron demand ‘savage’ cuts at the BBC and is radical change coming our way? “

The talking shop bows August 27.

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