The beeb’s arts department is to offer a host of programming across the summer over the BBC television networks.

“This summer, we’re putting artists centre stage on television, as BBC Arts profiles some extraordinary artists, including John Minton, Rose Wylie, Tacita Dean and performer Anoushka Shankar, as well as going behind the scenes of the 250th Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.” – Jonty Claypole, BBC Director of Arts,

This summer BBC Arts is putting artists centre stage with a range of programmes across BBC One, Two and Four to brighten even the dampest of British summer days.

From Mark Gatiss’ personal quest to uncover the forgotten talent of artist John Minton, to a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s RA summer exhibition co-ordinated by Grayson Perry, to profiles of Anoushka Shankar, Mahtab Hussain and Raqib Shaw, to a revealing portrait of Sylvia Plath with exclusive testimony from her daughter Frieda, the programmes, the corporation note, ‘has something for everyone interested in the arts’.

For the actor and writer Mark Gatiss, John Minton has been something of an obsession since he first came across his work as a teenager, and in this personal film he tells the story of Minton’s colourful, complex life for the first time on television. Meeting his friends, contemporaries, former models and students, including Bridget Riley and Peter Blake, he comes across unseen photos, lost paintings and rare recordings of a man whose life and work seemed to disappear overnight.

In the 250th anniversary year, BBC Two goes behind the scenes at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition as it prepares for its annual artistic extravaganza, meeting the cast of people who make the show possible, including Grayson Perry in his role as chief coordinator. Over on BBC Four, Brenda Emmanus follows acclaimed artist Sonia Boyce as she prepares to launch an ambitious new exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. And, as part of the Big British Asian Summer Season, we have a series of three artist profiles featuring Anoushka Shankar, Mahtab Hussain, and Raqib Shaw.

“I’m thrilled to be celebrating my love of this unjustly neglected artist on BBC Four. John Minton’s life and art shine a dazzling light on a Soho long gone and a vanished England.” – Mark Gatis

BBC Two profiles Sylvia Plath in a fascinating and unique documentary. With unprecedented access to people who knew Plath, including her daughter Frieda, Life Inside The Bell Jar is the first documentary about her classic semi-autobiographical novel. BBC Two also takes a foray into writer Angela Carter’s fabulous world, from her childhood to life as a young housewife, and the trip to Japan which transformed the way she saw the world, radicalising her, and shaping her as a feminist.

Over on BBC One favourites Fake Or Fortune? and imagine… return with subjects including internationally renowned British artists Rose Wylie and Tacita Dean.

On BBC Four Katherine Rundell uncovers the gripping true story of a child abducted from the streets of Elizabethan London to be put on the stage – and how his father desperately fought to get him back.  BBC Four will also be making Monday nights an Arts destination this summer, with a run of single documentaries.

“We’ll also be highlighting some of the UK’s forgotten masterpieces by black and Asian British artists through Sonia Boyce’s new exhibition in Manchester. Finally, we’re delving into lives of extraordinary female writers Sylvia Plath and Angela Carter, with two intimate and revealing films.” – Jonty Claypole, BBC Director of Arts

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