Edinburgh getting an eyeful with 'Naked'

TV execs will get makeovers as festival kicks off

EDINBURGH -- Naked television executives will be the big draw as the Edinburgh International Festival kicks off Friday.

Fashion guru Gok Wan will get the ball rolling at the three-day event with a live version of TV makeover hit "How to Look Good Naked." The host of the Channel 4/Maverick Television format will cajole a pair of high-profile TV executives into stripping down to their knickers and letting him revamp, restyle and rebuild their confidence.

The show, which will play for attendees only, provides a lighthearted entree to three days of fast and furious debate, with more than 60 conferences, panels, commissioner interviews and program screenings as well as dinners, gossip and plenty of late-night drinking at the Channel 4-sponsored Soho House and the George Hotel.

Heavyweight debate will be shaped by the MacTaggart lecture, delivered this year by ITV programming director Peter Fincham, who resigned as controller of BBC1 just over a year ago following the "Queengate" controversy over a faked BBC documentary.

Fincham, who has maintained a low profile since his departure from the pubcaster, might be wishing that some of Gok's makeover tips could be applied to the ITV schedule, with the broadcaster under pressure from a poor advertising outlook and a share price floating near rock bottom. He is expected to talk about his plans for revitalizing the U.K.'s biggest commercial broadcaster.

Other highlights include a session examining the cult of celebrity television with Sharon Osbourne; a look at whether the private equity bubble has burst hosted by Tom Manwaring of Ingenious Corporate Finance; an examination of the fall and rise of the sitcom with ITV's Paul Jackson; and a tour around the brave new world of social networking and technology, fronted by futurist Clay Shirky.