More arts stuff on the BBC
March 25 2014
Good news today from the BBC - they're significantly increasing their arts output. This isn't just good news for your humble correspondent, who might if he's lucky get the odd presenting gig. A whole series of new programmes was announced, from a six-parter Simon Schama on British portraiture, in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, through to a segment on Holbein's Ambassadors on The One Show this evening. Top of the pile was a commitment to do a new 'Civilisation' (above), which, regular readers will know, is my favourite TV programme ever. It's not been decided who the presenter will be, but various high calibre names have been mentioned. My choice would be Neil MacGregor of the British Museum, an inspirational modern-day Kenneth Clark. His recent Radio 4 series 'A History of the World in 100 Objects' was excellent. More details of tony Hall's (the BBC Director General) speech here.
Update - here's former National Gallery director Charles Saumarez Smith's view on who should do it:
It’s a long time since I’ve been on the Today programme, two minutes of ephemeral fame, talking about Tony Hall’s proposal that the BBC should remake Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation ‘for the digital age’. Of course, the whole point of Civilisation is that it’s not about the digital age, because it’s about the message, not the medium. And nobody made the point that nowadays Kenneth Clark wouldn’t get the role: wrong voice, wrong class, wrong teeth, wrong views. My candidates, for what they’re worth, are Jessica Rawson, Lisa Jardine or Mary Beard.
Charles, now Chief Executive of the Royal Academy, has an excellent blog, which I've only just come across.