Artsnight to return to BBC Two

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Richard Wilson, Andrew Marr, Martha Lane Fox, Samira Ahmed and Lily Cole are among those who will be taking on the presenter role for the cultural partner to Newsnight.

The beeb have announced that the topical arts magazine show Artsnight will return to Friday nights on BBC Two for thirty episodes later this month, with each programme curated by a different major player in contemporary British culture.

“Artsnight is British culture as experienced by the movers and shakers behind it. From Enniskillen to the Edinburgh Festivals, we’re putting artists, writers and decision-makers centre-stage to see the latest trends, ideas and events through their eyes. It’s all part of the BBC’s enduring commitment to capture and showcase the extraordinary arts and culture of the UK, up and down the country, right across the year. Artsnight is cultural access with a strong point of view.” – Jonty Claypole, Director of BBC Arts

Artsnight will begin in mid-June, when Andrew Marr will question our unwavering focus on the Bard. Next year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death – Marr questions and interrogates whether the captivation with one writer could mean we’re overlooking other great dramatists. Lily Cole – who is expecting her first child imminently – will consider whether children can block creativity, exploring Cyril Connolly’s infamous statement that the “pram in the hall” is the “enemy of good art”.

At a time when smartphones have meant photographs can be taken anytime and anywhere, Samira Ahmed meets leading British photographers who are still making impactful art with their images and Martha Lane Fox discusses the relationship between art and science – are they still seen as “two cultures”? Recent star of his play Krapp’s Last Tape, Richard Wilson will be considering the legacy of the writer described as “probably the most influential artistic figure of our time” by Samuel Beckett.

Artsnight was piloted in March 2015 and guest editors included Maxine Peake, Armando Iannucci, Lynn Barber and Tate Modern’s Chris Dercon.

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