A raft of flagship BBC arts, comedy and radio programming is set to go out across the country from the Edinburgh festivals this year.

Television’s The Culture Show, The Review Show, plus two hour-long stand-up specials from Edinburgh, will be joined by BBC Radio 4’s Just A Minute, Front Row, and Loose Ends.

BBC Radio Scotland’s Radio Cafe arts strand becomes dedicated to Edinburgh as the Festival Cafe with additional Book Cafe specials. Flagship magazine show MacAulay & Co with Fred MacAulay will also move to the city from Glasgow, taking up residence in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre for two weeks.

There will be a slate of other programming across BBC Radio 1, 2 ,3, 4, 5 Live, 6 Music and Radio Nan Gaidheal, as well as dedicated online coverage. Among the talent broadcasting radio shows from Edinburgh are Scott Mills, Nick Grimshaw, Richard Bacon, Claudia Winkleman, Nicholas Parsons, Arthur Smith and Clive Anderson.

BBC Two’s flagship arts magazine shows – The Culture Show and The Review Show – will this year be working in tandem to provide a brand new package of coverage for the Edinburgh festivals in August.

For three weeks, the two programmes will move from their base in BBC Scotland’s Glasgow headquarters to Edinburgh. They will work together to provide up-to-the-minute reports on The Culture Show, with festival veteran Sue Perkins as the lead presenter, and Kirsty Wark chairing lively topical discussions of the big highlights of the festivals on The Review Show, including a Book Festival Special co-presented with Ian Rankin.

The arrangement will mean that the two series will be able to offer a more in-depth perspective of the major highlights but also showcase a greater range of activity from the UK’s largest arts festival.

The first Culture Show special from Edinburgh this year will be reviewing major cornerstones of the festival over the years including the famous Spiegeltent, Assembly Rooms, Gilded Balloon, and the comedy awards as well as a feature piece on the new National Theatre of Scotland’s Caledonia production. Over the course of three weeks, both The Culture Show and The Review Show will be covering a range of highlights. Also from Edinburgh, Scots comedian Kevin Bridges will host two hour-long comedy specials.

This coverage will also be augmented by news across television, radio and online, as well as a dedicated coverage of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo for network BBC One and a BBC Scotland special programme, Tattoo At 60.

Radio 4 returns to the Pleasance for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a selection of its best comedy and arts programmes, special Fringe shows and an opportunity to hear and ask advice and tips from BBC Radio Comedy writers and producers on what it takes to write radio comedy and get it on-air.

Joining Radio 4’s comedy line-up in Edinburgh this year will be:

Arthur Smith, in a special festival edition of his comedy and music show from the Pleasance, Arthur Smith’s Edinburgh Bash; Ed Reardon, Radio 4’s celebrated impoverished author, presents his favourite prose and poetry, written by himself in An Audience With Ed Reardon; award-winning comedian, Andrew Lawrence, records two 15-minute monologues in which he skirts around some of life’s big questions, without drawing any useful conclusions, in The Non-Conformist’s Guide To Civic Responsibility; Ali McGregor, Australian cabaret star and all-round diva, hosts a special cabaret show – Curiosity Killed The Cabaret – featuring the best cabaret and burlesque acts appearing at this year’s Fringe.

And regular favourites from Radio 4 include: Just A Minute – Nicholas Parsons will chair two festival editions of one of the listeners’ favourite panel games; Mark Lawson will present Radio 4’s week night arts show Front Row, reporting on the hits, misses and talking points of the festival so far and Clive Anderson will host a glorious mix of chat, comedy and music on Loose Ends. Comic Fringes returns with three new short stories told by three leading comedians for Radio 4’s Afternoon Readings. Radio 4’s full guest line-up in Edinburgh will be available shortly.

On other BBC radio networks Radio 2’s The Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman will transmit live from Edinburgh and 5 Live will have Richard Bacon broadcasting from the city, as will 6 Music (Saturday 7 August).

Radio 3 will broadcast extensive coverage of the 2010 Edinburgh International Festival, with more than 20 concerts recorded for broadcast, including three from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

From 24 August 2010, Radio 3 broadcasts chamber music from Edinburgh over three weeks in the Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert. Highlights include a recital by soprano Magdalena Kozená (25 August) with music by Italian and Spanish composers, including d’India, Caccini and de Ribayaz; baritone Gerald Finley with an entertaining selection of music from Europe and the United States (3 September); and pianist Steven Osborne with an eclectic programme ranging from Scott Joplin to Ravel (10 September).

Radio 3’s Performance On 3’s coverage of the festival begins on 13 September with the festival’s opening concert – John Adams’s oratorio El Niño with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and a stellar cast including Jessica Rivera and Sir Willard White. Further highlights include a recital by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham in a sumptuous programme of music by American composers alongside songs by Mozart and Mahler (21 September); and performances from the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Franz Welser-Möst (20 September) and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons (22 September).

The Early Music Show will broadcast performances by Florilegium and Ensemble Elyma, tracing the baroque-influenced early music of Latin America (18 and 19 September).

Radio 1 is returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010, with DJ Scott Mills facing his toughest challenge yet in front of an entertainment-hungry audience. Following the huge success of last year’s Scott Mills The Musical, which played to a full house over three nights and received rave reviews, this time Scott and his team must write and perform their own one-man show. From 16-20 August, Scott’s Radio 1 show (4-7pm) will be live from Edinburgh as the team each take it in turns to perform their one-man shows in the evenings.

Over the next few weeks, Scott and the team will be asking listeners for ideas and inspiration on how to entertain an audience on their own.

This year, Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw will also be live from the Edinburgh Fringe and each night, when Scott and the team come off stage, they will go straight onto Nick’s show (10pm-12midnight) to tell him how they got on.

Andrea Miller, Head of Factual at BBC Scotland, said: “The Edinburgh festivals are the biggest, most extensive and varied arts event in the country and our coverage across so many platforms and outlets reflects that.

“We have an ongoing commitment to the Edinburgh festivals, which is not only reflected in dedicated programming but in news and magazine programme coverage, some of which are already starting to carry feature items.

“This year with the rebirth of The Review Show, being broadcast from Scotland, we are able to offer a unique partnership with The Culture Show to showcase and offer a wider arts perspective of the most exciting performances and exhibitions – the buzz of the festivals.”


The BBC confirmed today that it will broadcast live TV and radio coverage of the prestigious 2010 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, one of the world’s greatest horse races.

The race is one of the most important in the calendar and the 2009 Arc saw racing history as the record-breaking colt, Sea The Stars, triumphed to complete an unprecedented treble following wins in the 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby.

Clare Balding will be joined by Willie Carson and Jim McGrath for coverage of Europe’s richest race on Sunday 3 October on BBC Two and Cornelius Lysaght and John Hunt will bring BBC Radio 5 Live listeners all the action live from Paris.

UK users of the BBC website will be able to watch the race live and view highlights later.

Coverage will also be available on BBC iPlayer.


Alison Kirkham has been appointed as the new Commissioning Editor for Factual Features and Formats on BBC One and BBC Two.

Commissioning factual features and formats from both in-house production and independents to broadcast on BBC One and BBC Two, this role is one of eight specialist editor roles in the BBC Knowledge commissioning team.

Alison is currently a Commissioning Executive Producer for Features in the BBC Knowledge commissioning team. Her recent credits include Joanna Lumley In The Land Of The Northern Lights (BBC One), The Delicious Miss Dahl (BBC Two), High Street Dreams (BBC One) and Accidental Heroes (BBC One).

She joined the BBC in 2005, working as an executive producer on Daytime; and she was acting controller there for six months in 2006. During her time at Daytime her credits included Extreme Dreams (BBC Two), Strictly It Takes Two (BBC Two), Don’t Get Done Get Dom (BBC One) and Missing (BBC One).

Prior to joining the BBC Alison worked for a year as Associate Editor of Richard And Judy (Channel 4) for Cactus TV. Previously Alison worked in ITV Current Affairs as a producer/director on Tonight With Trevor McDonald and worked producing and directing on ITV’s Iraq War and 9/11 coverage.

George Entwistle, Controller Knowledge Commissioning, says: “I’m delighted Alison has accepted the role as Jo Ball’s successor: she’s a highly intelligent, creative, energetic and hard-working TV exec and will be a tremendous addition to the Knowledge commissioning team.”

Alison Kirkham says: “I’m very excited to be taking on such a varied slate of programmes. It will be a privilege to work with such a great commissioning team and talented producers both across the indie sector and in-house.”

Alison picks up the role recently vacated by Jo Ball. She will start her new role with immediate effect.


Today brings a further boost to the BBC’s ongoing commitment to building a new relationship with audiences across the UK following yesterday’s announcement that BBC Breakfast will be moving north.

Key teams from Marketing, Communications & Audiences (MC&A) and Future Media & Technology (FM&T) have been informed that their roles will also be relocating to the BBC’s new production hub in Salford Quays as well as there being a significant increase in investment for comedy from the north of England.

Relocating FM&T teams, which comprise 75 roles, will complement those parts of the department already moving to Salford in order to make the most of the opportunity to build new and exciting content and platforms for audiences, and will be well placed to benefit from the already well established digital economy in the North West.

The 43 MC&A roles that will move are a reflection on how important the BBC’s new home will be, both as a destination for audiences to interact with content and services, and also as a centre of excellence for audience insight in helping the organisation grow a new relationship with audiences.

And the announcement that an additional two comedy shows will be commissioned from the base by 2012/13 represents a significant increase on the current output.

BBC in-house Comedy Productions is the cornerstone of British comedy, producing bold and risk-taking content loved by audiences. Developing a significant base at Salford Quays will build on this success and help grow on and off screen talent and explore new creative opportunities in the north of England.

Peter Salmon, Director BBC North, said: “The past two days have been a real shot in the arm for BBC North and for audiences across the UK.

“Following BBC Breakfast yesterday, these announcements show the real momentum behind our new operation. This fresh wave of journalists, audience specialists and technology experts enhances the site as a major centre for the creative industries and builds on the region’s heritage for great journalism and innovation.

“This reflects the federation of departments we will have in the north, a genuine cross section of the organisation, and how it is really in the interests of the whole BBC to make this a success.”

The BBC’s Director of Future Media and Technology, Erik Huggers, said: “We are as committed as ever to building a strong BBC presence in the North, with FM&T at its heart. Just as Broadcasting House is associated with the rise of radio, and Television Centre with TV, I believe that MediaCity will become the BBC’s centre for the internet age.

“In time, BBC Online will become the universal gateway to the past, present, and future of the BBC – embracing our audiences within a single integrated offer across all platforms and devices. Moving our connected TV and mobile product teams north, together with a core part of BBC Online, is very much part of realising this vision.”

Teams already confirmed to relocate to BBC North in 2011 are BBC Sport, BBC Children’s, Radio 5 Live, Learning, parts of Future Media & Technology and all teams based at BBC Manchester. Yesterday it was announced the BBC Breakfast would also relocate becoming the first BBC network news programme made outside of London. launches a new look to its award-winning News site has introduced new functionality and design and is ramping up its coverage of sport, travel, business and technology. has achieved 41%  growth in the last financial year (ending March 31, 2010) and unique users have grown from 50 to 54m a month outside of the UK.

The redesign sees an overhaul of the layout with including better use of video and images, more prominent labelling and easier ways to share stories with others.

Commented Luke Bradley-Jones, Global EVP & MD, “This investment clearly underscores our commitment to growing our digital business internationally and continuing to bring people authoritative and distinctive journalism.  Our new redesign will make it even easier to find, use and share the BBC’s global news”

Later this (UK) summer, will launch a travel section, in partnership with sister company Lonely Planet.  It will be led by former Travel & Style Editor, David G. Allan who was recently appointed Editorial Director, BBC Travel.  Already attracting blue chip advertisers, the travel section will launch with partners in different territories including Hilton in Europe and Emirates in North America. Enhanced technology, sports and entertainment sites will follow.

Kelly Brough, Global Digital Director, Lonely Planet says: “Partnering with further strengthens Lonely Planet’s leading position as the trusted advisor to travellers everywhere. Our online editorial and community content on is updated around the clock for travellers. We are excited to be providing travel content to appeal to’s audiences and drawing more and more people into our own growing travel community. ” also offers a range of successful apps, including the BBC News app for iPad and iPhone and a BBC Sports app for iPhone.   In addition, the business has today launched an edition specifically for North America, a strategy it aims to roll out in other territories.  Over 600 blue chip advertisers have now partnered with since its commercial launch in late 2007.


The Open will be broadcast on the BBC up to and including the 2016 Championship, following a new deal announced today by BBC Sport and The R&A.

The new deal extends BBC Sport’s current contract as exclusive live television broadcaster, and also covers radio, online, interactive and BBC iPlayer.

This year’s event, the 150th Anniversary of The Open Championship, will be the first ever to be broadcast in High Definition (HD). Over 40 hours of coverage will be broadcast over the four day competition on BBC One, BBC Two and the BBC HD Channel, presented by Hazel Irvine and starting at 9am on Thursday 15 July. There will be approx 40 hours of content available on the BBC Red Button.

BBC Director of Sport, Barbara Slater, says: “We are delighted to have extended our partnership with The R&A to broadcast The Open, one of our most important crown jewel events. We look forward to continuing to bring top class golf coverage to the widest possible audiences through to 2016.”

Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, says: “The R&A has enjoyed a special relationship with the BBC for more than 50 years. On the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of The Open Championship, we are very pleased to have ensured the continuation of that relationship.

“It is very important to The R&A that The Open remains accessible to as many people as possible and the BBC is an ideal partner in fulfilling this ambition across the United Kingdom.”

It has been confirmed by the BBC that former presenter Christine Bleakley will definitely not return to The One Show.

Bleakley left the show in order to take up a contract with rival network ITV later this year and was reported to be unsure about a return to The One Show if another presenter was found in time.

The BBC released a statement regarding the situation:

“Following the BBC’s decision to withdraw its offer of an extended contract to Christine Bleakley, we have agreed she will not be returning to The One Show.

“The BBC would like to take this opportunity to thank Christine for her contribution to the show and to wish her well.”

The network has also confirmed that guest hosts will take the reigns of the show when it returns next week with Adrian Chiles replacement Jason Manford being joined by Bleakley’s replacement in August.

Source: Digital Spy


Controller of CBBC Damian Kavanagh has commissioned a special season of programmes that will examine, through drama and documentary, how children are affected by war.

The season will explore what is like for those left behind in the UK when a parent goes to fight abroad and will find out what it is like to grow up in war-torn Afghanistan.

Pad Rats (working title) from Lime Pictures is a 3×30′ drama which examines the awkwardness of a family divided by the difficulties of military life. Jed Clayton and his group of young friends live together on an undisclosed army base.

The war may be in a distant country but their dads and mums are out there and the gang feel it deeply within their tight-knit community. The youngsters find their lives changed forever when a mysterious young boy arrives at camp.

Pad Rats is set to be filmed in the North West and due to be broadcast later this year. It will be produced and directed by Paul Wilmshurst and executive produced by Tony Wood.

Forming part of the single subject documentary series My Life, Toy Soldiers goes on the march with children whose lives have been disrupted by having a parent in the armed forces. Following a diverse group of youngsters, the film shows how children try to maintain normality when their lives are turned upside down by a war fought in a faraway land.

Commissioned from Walsh Bros, Toy Soldiers is directed and produced by John Walsh and executive produced by Roger James.

John Walsh says: “The child’s voice has rarely been heard on this subject before. The goal of this film is not just to give a voice to this story but to challenge perceptions of children whose parents go to war.”

Rounding off the season, Newsround visits Afghanistan to report on the lives of Afghan children. Presenter Sonali Shah finds out about the impact the war has had on their lives and discovers more about Afghan children’s home and school life, with a special look at education for girls.

Controller of CBBC, Damian Kavanagh says: “CBBC has a responsibility to invest in British originated drama and documentaries tackling current issues affecting children in the UK in a language and style our young audience will understand.

“The armed forces feature in the news on an almost daily basis and these commissions provide an opportunity, through fact and fiction, to explore what it is really like to have a member of the family away fighting and what it is like to be a child living in the country many of their parents are fighting in.”


The BBC Trust has today approved the BBC’s involvement in Project Canvas, subject to a number of conditions.

Project Canvas is a joint venture between the BBC and six other partners – Arqiva, BT, Channel 4, Five, ITV and Talk Talk – to develop and promote a common standard that will allow viewers with a broadband connection to watch on-demand services and other internet content as well as ordinary TV content, all through their television sets.

The Trust’s decision follows a rigorous and extensive period of consultation over the past year, including discussions with a range of industry stakeholders and four formal public consultations. The proposal has been considered in the context of its likely public value; whether it represents value for money; the interests and perspective of the licence fee payer; the market impact; the risk attached to the BBC’s participation in Canvas; and whether Canvas is likely to comply with the law and with BBC policies.

The Trust’s decision includes a number of conditions on the BBC’s involvement. These include:

Industry engagement: Completed elements of the Canvas core technical specification to be published within 20 working days from this final approval, and the Canvas partners to engage with industry on these and future elements of the technical specification. The final core technical specification will be published no later than eight months before launch of the first set-top boxes. The Trust will keep this process of engagement under review.

Free-to-air: Users will always be able to access Canvas free-to-air, though they may be charged for additional pay services that third parties might choose to provide via the Canvas platform, for example video on demand services, as well as the broadband subscription fees.

Accessibility and usability: Accessibility and usability features, such as audio description, should be incorporated into the core technical specification and/or user interface as soon as reasonably possible; and appropriate information and signposting should be provided for users to help them make informed choices about the suitability of content wherever possible.

Access to the platform for content providers and ISPs: Entry controls in terms of technical and content standards will be minimal, access will not be bundled with other products or services, listing on the electronic programme guide will be awarded in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory manner; and quality standards for ISPs delivering Canvas will be set at a minimum level and applied in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory manner.

Legal compliance: Canvas will comply with all applicable laws including competition and state aid law.

Cost: The BBC’s involvement will not exceed the Executive’s estimated costs by more than 20 per cent over a five year period.

The full list of conditions can be found here.

BBC Trustee and Chair of the Trust’s Strategic Approvals Committee, Diane Coyle, said:

“The Trust has concluded that Project Canvas will deliver significant public value for licence fee payers – people with a broadband connection will be able to access a wide range of on-demand content including BBC iPlayer, free of charge, through their TV sets. We have however applied a number of conditions to the BBC’s involvement in the venture in recognition of the potential impacts on the market if Canvas is successful.”

The Trust will review the BBC’s involvement in Canvas against the conditions of its approval, twelve months after launch of Canvas to consumers.


Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, Arts, has announced a raft of forthcoming programme highlights across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four and discussed the BBC’s commitment to the arts.

“Arts programmes can change the way we see the world,” says Mark. “They have been among the most influential programmes ever made, and they have always been at the centre of the BBC agenda.

“The BBC seeks to make the arts accessible to people in the following ways:

– To reflect and comment on the arts and culture of this country and the world

– To provide narrative and context to make sense of the artistic achievements of the past

– To use programme seasons to draw attention to specific areas of artistic expression

– To expose and illuminate the artistic process

“Knowledge programming, of which arts is a key component, is one of the BBC’s five editorial priorities as outlined in the recent Strategy Review, bringing culture to new minds, eyes and ears and to enrich people’s lives in doing so. Mark Thompson said last year that it is impossible to imagine the BBC without the arts, and impossible to imagine cultural life in the UK without the BBC.

“Last year, the BBC broadcast over 1,700 hours of arts programming. But the BBC is not only part of the cultural infrastructre thanks to its programming but through its partnerships with arts organisations, support of orchestras and its charitable commitments.

“We are using new digital photography techniques in Renaissance Remastered, in which Matt Collings shows viewers, in astonishing detail, some of the greatest Italian paintings, enabling them to see and understand them as never before.

“Waldemar Januszczak will offer a major reappraisal of Impressionism, showing the movement to be much more than a sunny Sunday by the Seine and how it employed great rigour to draw on radical new scientific discoveries about the nature of light. And Sheila Hancock travels across the continent in the footsteps of the amateur watercolourists of the 19th Century.

“Following on from the success of collections of programmes about poetry and opera, the BBC is devoting a season to a celebration of the novel, at the centre of which is Faulks On Fiction, on BBC Two, in which the novelist tells the story of the British novel through four character archetypes – the lover, the hero, the villain and the snob.

“And, on BBC Four, In Their Own Words uses the riches of the BBC archives to allow novelists from GK Chesterton and Virginia Woolf onwards to tell, literally, their own story.

“There is a renewed emphasis on architecture. In the autumn, the RIBA Stirling Prize will move from Channel 4 to join many other major cultural events under the banner of The Culture Show. And, next year, Charlie Luxton and Dan Cruickshank will follow the reconstruction of some rare and remarkable pieces of vernacular architecture – including a prefabricated chapel and an early 20th-century fish and chip shop.”

The forthcoming programme highlights include:

Faulks On Fiction



In 2011, BBC Two celebrates the power of the British novel, with a major new series and some complementary programming.

In Faulks On Fiction, best-selling novelist Sebastian Faulks (The Girl At The Lion D’Or, Birdsong, A Week In December) looks at the history of the novel through its characters, each episode focusing on a different archetype – the hero, the lover, the snob and the villain – to look at how they and the novel have developed over the centuries.

Touring the country, with the occasional foray abroad, Sebastian uses his unique personal knowledge of characterisation to get under the skin of some familiar and not so familiar British literary characters. From Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe to Martin Amis’s John Self, and from Jane Austen’s Emma to Monica Ali’s Chanu, Sebastian puts them on the psychiatrist’s couch.

As part of the celebration of the British novel, a Culture Show Special, presented by Sue Perkins, will investigate the worlds of crime and new romance in a journey to discover the essential ingredients of a best-seller.


A Culture Show Special – The Books We Really Read



Continuing BBC Two’s focus on novels, The Culture Show’s Sue Perkins investigates crime and experiences new romance in her journey to discover the essential ingredients of a bestseller.

As a literature graduate and a judge on last year’s Man Booker Prize, Sue’s reading material has consisted mainly of literary classics. Now, she’s on a mission to find out just what she’s been missing and what makes best-sellers so readable.

Her journey takes her to the home of Agatha Christie to find clues as to why she’s the best-selling crime author of all time. She visits the racetrack with Dick Francis’s son Felix to find out what makes the perfect backdrop for a thriller, and meets author Lee Child to discover why men and women love his anti-hero Jack Reacher.

In a flashmob-style raid on an Edinburgh hairdressing salon, Sue also tests the popularity of the latest chick-lit novel by Sophie Kinsella.

Along the way, she meets best-selling authors Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, Colin Dexter, Anthony Horowitz and Joanne Harris to get their tips on what makes a best-selling book. She also meets some of the UK’s biggest crime, thriller and romance fans to find out what they like best about their favourite authors.


In Their Own Words – British Novelists

BBC Four


This is the story of the British novel in the 20th century told by those who know it best – the authors themselves. Plundering the BBC archive, and produced in partnership with The Open University, In Their Own Words reveals Britain’s greatest novelists talking candidly about their life and work.

The full extent of this resource is surprising and takes us from late Victorian writers like GK Chesteron, HG Wells and EM Forster (all of whom recorded for the BBC in the Twenties and Thirties) through to Salman Rushdie, Angela Carter and Martin Amis.

It includes the only recording of Virginia Woolf in existence, as well as surprising set-pieces: William Golding addressing a room of primary school pupils about Lord Of The Flies; JG Ballard, author of Crash, celebrating the beauty of the motorcar; and Kingsley Amis and John Braine in a smoke-filled Soho restaurant discussing the impact of the Second World War on the British novel.

The BBC archive website is also working with British Novelists In Their Own Words to create a new online collection to bring together the full versions of many of the interviews used in the series. Audiences will be able to watch extended interviews with the greats of modern literature, on-demand, in this permanent web resource, from the day the programme transmits by visiting

The Open University is creating an interactive timeline to complement the series and enable viewers to navigate their way through literary history, which will go live immediately prior to transmission. at Some of our best-loved writers and reviews of their works also feature in a free Open University booklet, which is available online or by calling 0845 366 8022.

In Their Own Words was co-produced by The Open University and the BBC.


Arena – Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way

BBC Four


Arena profiles jazz legend Dave Brubeck in his 90th year. This is the third in a trilogy of films, co-produced by Arena with Clint Eastwood (the others included Tony Bennett – The Music Never Ends (2008) and Johnny Mercer – The Dream’s On Me (2010)). Dave Brubeck – In His Own Sweet Way will tell the story of a living genius.

Brubeck’s career began 65 years ago with revolutionary experiments that would come to be called cool jazz – he was the first jazz musician to appear on the cover of Time magazine. He had one of the biggest popular hits in jazz history with Take Five, a sound as familiar today as it was in 1959.

Brubeck’s daring experiments with time marked him out as one of the most adventurous and technically accomplished jazz musicians ever. A year ago, Brubeck received America’s most prestigious cultural accolade – the Kennedy Centre Lifetime Achievement Award.

The producer and director is Bruce Ricker and the executive producers are Clint Eastwood and Anthony Wall.


Renaissance Remastered



Presented by Matthew Collings, Renaissance Remastered tells the story of how the greatest Renaissance paintings were created, using the latest digital technology to present a stunning new way for viewers to enjoy paintings on the screen.

Spanning 50 years of Renaissance genius, from the early Renaissance of the 15th Century through to the High Renaissance of the early 16th Century, the episodes will look at the artists Piero della Francesca, Raphael and Hieronymus Bosch.

Using digital technology, the series will give a general audience access to the intricacies of technique and delicate details that are normally only seen by conservation experts or the artists themselves. The technique, known as “image mapping”, involves knitting together very high resolution images of small areas of the painting so that the camera can move from a wide-shot of the whole painting to close-ups of tiny details which are not visible to the naked eye.

These close-ups reveal delicate details of technique and in some cases startling details of imagery which are not even apparent when viewing the paintings in a gallery. The result will be a fresh and exciting vision of the Renaissance and a new way of seeing and understanding the secrets of technique, imagery and imagination that lie behind all great paintings.


Impressionism (Working title)



Waldemar Januszczak returns to BBC Two with a fresh new look at Impressionism.

Impressionism is often understood as a sunny riverside movement (the familiar cliché of Monet and Renoir boating on the Seine) but, in this series, Waldemar will reappraise the Impressionists and illuminate the less familiar aspects of the movement.

Impressionism was a conglomeration of different ambitions and styles. The main players of Impressionism – Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Seurat – were crucially important, but there were 31 artists in the first Impressionism exhibition, 90 per cent of whom subsequently slipped out of sight.

Even critical Impressionists, such as Caillebotte and Guillaumin, who were such prominent exhibitors in the movement, are little understood or appreciated these days. Waldemar will seek to shine a light on these “forgotten” artists. He will also explore the fierce revolutionary relationship that the movement had with science including experiments and examinations of optics, paints and techniques relevant to the time and the artists.


The Art Of Travel – A History Of Watercolours With Sheila Hancock (working title)



A celebration of the rich yet largely untold story of British watercolour. Focusing especially on the work of amateur travelling painters of the 19th Century, Sheila Hancock will look closely at the technique of watercolour painting and the unique strengths of a portable medium as a means of record in the days before photography.

She will travel through the Lake District and other parts of the UK, and through France and Italy to revel in the beauty of Venice and the Tuscany. Sheila will also concentrate on the paintings of famous artists such as Turner and Constable, whose watercolour works are often overlooked.

This programme will be a celebration of an art form at which amateurs excelled but in which leading artists, who boasted of their prowess in oils, often made their most personal and intimate works – thousands of which, to this day, remain hidden in gallery drawers for Sheila Hancock to unearth.


Rebuilding The Past (Working title)



Rebuilding The Past is a brand-new architecture series, presented by Dan Cruickshank and Charlie Luxton, that brings back to life, brick by brick, some of Britain’s most historic buildings which no longer exist.

Each building tells a unique story, presenting Dan and Charlie with a fascinating detective mission and the chance to uncover the history of the people who designed and adapted them. This is the story of ordinary people’s architecture – and this series is also about the history of British people, told through the buildings that were part of their lives.

Every year, dozens of historic buildings are snatched from the jaws of bulldozers. Rescued by museums, conservation organisations and local enthusiasts, they are painstakingly taken apart and stored away. In each episode, Rebuilding The Past will follow a new team of local experts as they attempt to bring one of these structures back to life – without the help of an instruction book.

The teams will face puzzles and crucial decisions at every step, from choosing the right approach, to layout and building materials. They must work out the history of vernacular architecture from the ground up, interpreting clues as they go and re-learning long lost techniques. The extraordinary buildings featured will include an Edwardian coal-fired fish and chip shop in the North East and a Victorian pre-fab mission church.


RIBA Stirling Prize to move to BBC Two’s The Culture Show



BBC Two’s flagship arts programme, The Culture Show, is to broadcast The Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize for the first time. Now in its 15th year, the prize is awarded to the architects of the best new European building “built or designed in Britain”.

The winner of the UK’s most prestigious architecture prize will be announced live as part of a special edition of The Culture Show, presented by Kevin McCloud on Saturday 2 October at 6.30pm, from The Roundhouse, London. Architecture critic and The Culture Show presenter Tom Dyckhoff will present films about the shortlisted buildings.

The BBC’s Commissioning Editor for Arts, Mark Bell, said: “As part of the BBC’s commitment to the arts we’re delighted to be shining the light on the very best in British architecture. The Culture Show, which reflects the best of the cultural landscape, is the perfect vehicle for delivering a strong live programme about architecture.”

Ruth Reed, RIBA President said: “This is the 11th year the RIBA Stirling Prize will be broadcast on national television, and we are delighted this year to be joining forces with the BBC. The fit with the BBC and the RIBA is fantastic and is sure to give the prize even greater prominence over the coming years.”

The Culture Show editor, Janet Lee, said: “The Culture Show team are very excited to be able to showcase the work of some of the world’s greatest architects and give insight to our viewers on just what it takes to build brilliant buildings.”


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