The prospect of a Hollywood writers strike was heightened after talks between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers failed to reach agreement on a new contract.

Talks ended last night with the sticking point appearing to be over payments to writers on the release oftheDVD of a film.

The existing contract between writers and producers ended last night.

The WGA had authorised its leaders to call a strike if a deal couldnot bereached by the time the contract ran out.

A strike is not likely to be called however before a meeting of the West Coast Guild of the WGAtoday.