Talent, not technology, will secure the future of entertainment on television, according to ITV director of
Talent, not technology, will secure the future of entertainment on television, according to ITV director of channels David Liddiment.Speaking at a session on the future of formats at the Rose d'Or festival in Montreux on Saturday (27 April), Liddiment claimed that while the growth of interactivity was important it was less of a necessity that getting the right talent on-screen.'Great performers are fundamental. Technology is not an enabler in itself - it doesn't tell stories,' he said.He added that in the current economic climate, talent-driven entertainment programming was 'more important than it has ever been' as broadcasters seek greater value from cheaper programmes.However, he admitted that ITV, with its huge ratings demands from advertisers, had difficulty promoting new talent in key areas such as comedy. He said the genre would air on ITV in 'protected' places in the schedules that allow it to 'grow and develop'. He called on the BBC and Channel 4 with their 'privileged positions' to continue to nurture new stars.Liddiment also claimed ITV's Who Wants to be a Millionaire? had been superseded by the talent show phenomenon of this year's Golden Rose-winning Pop Idol. But he refused to be drawn on a shelf life for Millionaire - the ratings of which have dropped since its launch in 1998.His comments came as C4 and the BBC announced a raft of new celebrity-led entertainment programming that includes a six-part BBC 1 sitcom based on the Private Eye cartoon strip, Celeb, from Tiger Aspect Productions.C4 has commissioned two-part film Fashion Gods! from Elton John's partner David Furnish, offering an insight into the world of hissy fits and haute couture.New BBC controller of entertainment Jane Lush has commissioned scripts for Trevor's World of Sport from Hat Trick Productions and Drop the Dead Donkey creator Andy Hamilton.C4 SIGNS UP PERRIER AWARD WINNERChannel 4 head of entertainment and comedy Danielle Lux has signed Perrier Award winning comedian Garth Marenghi in one of her first major strategic moves since moving to the station, writes Leigh Holmwood.Marenghi, who won the prestigious comedy award last summer after being nominated the year before, is expected to star in projects connected to his horror-based act. He has won rave reviews for his recent Neatherhead and Fright Knight stand-up shows and also writes horror fiction. Lux, who last June quit the BBC where she was controller of entertainment commissioning to join C4, said: 'This is a time of exciting new beginnings for entertainment at C4.' Marenghi added: 'I am cock-a-hoop that C4 are treating the horror genre with the respect it deserves.' Avalon Television, which makes The Frank Skinner Show and The Sketch Show for ITV 1, will produce Marenghi's work.