Brian Ferguson: ‘We all know nothing’, says Jon Snow

Jon Snow: 'We all know nothing'. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Jon Snow: 'We all know nothing'. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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There were precious few moments of humour in Jon Snow’s MacTaggart Lecture, the centrepiece of the opening day of the TV Festival.

Addressing hundreds of industry delegates he reflected that the last two years had been “an object lesson that we all know nothing”, with the pundits misjudging the rise of Donald Trump, the result of the Brexit referendum and Theresa May losing her overall majority in the General Election.

Recalling the surreal shift in the political landscape back in June, Snow said: “She was forced to do a deal with the DUP, in order to stay in power, while thousands of people at Glastonbury Festival chanted ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn!.’”

Snow had, of course, hit the headlines over claims he had joined in with a group of students chanting an anti-Tory song. Snow told the TV Festival: “Oh Glastonbury. Like they say about the Sixties – if you remember it, you just weren’t there.”

• As delightful as the press yurt is in Charlotte Square Garden, the Book Festival definitely has its work cut out for next year after the experience on offer for hungry hacks at the TV Festival.

The press office at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre was decorated like the set of the Great British Bake-Off.

As well as plentiful supplies of cupcakes, the press room was awash with Tunnock’s Tea Cakes, marshmallows and shortbread. Little wonder excitable journalists were posting photos and even broadcasting Facebook Live tours of the laden-down shelves.

• At times it has felt like the 70th birthday and anniversary celebrations have been going on forever. Part of this is down to the fact that the 70th season of events in the city was actually last year, which the Film Festival chose to focus on, despite starting the same year as the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe.

Even so, after weeks of controversy over pay rates for venue staff, the city’s overcrowded streets and when the festivals should be staged, it was something of a surprise that this anomaly was raised at the opening of the Q&A session at the Fringe Society’s annual meeting.

Sir Timothy O’Shea, the chairman of the board, who is leaving his post as principal of Edinburgh University this year, told the inquisitor: “You’re quite right. It’s a routine mathematical error.”