Michael Grade was officially ‘grumpy old man of the festival’, popping up to moan about C4 (“dragged down” by Big Brother) and the BBC (“too big”).
By Sunday, you could set your watch by his gripes - as Krishnan Guru Murthy clearly did in an interview with Janice Hadlow. Introducing a package of views on BBC2, which he claimed never to have seen, he promised: “This is the bit where Michael Grade says ‘what is BBC2 for?’” Grade obliged.
Hincks’ brush with fame
Forget the Last Laugh finale to this year’s festival, the man with the best one-liners was, as ever, Endemol chief Tim Hincks (when he wasn’t treating us to a musical number or 20, that is). Off Cuts learned that viewers were cruelly robbed of his sharp wit when he was overlooked for a judging role on Fame Academy back in 2002, in favour of Richard Park. And now he’s stepping down from the Edinburgh committee, will Elaine Bedell deliver the goods next year?
Whopper way to go
Jeremy Vine got a little tongue-tied when he reeled off to Jeff Ford the latest titles from the other part of Richard Desmond’s TV empire. His description of “Whopping Wobblers” was quickly corrected by Ford as “Wobbling Whoppers”. Or was it the other way around? Off Cuts was a little too distracted by the images conjured up by both titles to remember.
With Queengate proving his downfall at the BBC, ITV programme chief Peter Fincham said he “doesn’t do season launches”. It’s a good job he changed his mind for Edinburgh - or else hacks would have had no idea that ITV plans to celebrate “half a decade” of Coronation Street. At least that’s what the on-screen caption said. Stick to your instincts, Peter!