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ITV exec says regulator is crushing creativity

ITV director of television Peter Fincham called for an end to the doom-mongering over British TV in delivering an upbeat opening to the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival with a rallying cry for good old-fashioned entertainment.

Delivering the annual McTaggart lecture Friday at McEwan Hall, Fincham said controversies like last year's phone-in scandal have taken so much of the industry's energy that creativity and innovation are taking a back seat. He warned TV regulators that they are creating an approach to the medium that leaves entertainment out of the equation.

"We've spent so much time in the past 12 months talking about deception that I worry we haven't found time to talk about the other side of the coin: invention," Fincham told a standing-room-only audience.

In a year when the U.K.'s biggest broadcasters are awaiting the outcome of media regulator Ofcom's review of public service broadcasting, Fincham launched a savage broadside at the watchdog's oversight of entertainment, which he said was crushing creativity.

He said television producers need to be free to create exciting and adventurous programming, and warned regulators to step back from the process.(partialdiff)