The first series, in 2014, was hosted by Richard Bacon and Una Stubbs.

 Mariella Frostrup and Reverend Richard Coles present The Big Painting Challenge

“The Big Painting Challenge is a wonderful showcase for those many gifted artists who aspire to making a career of their painting, often receiving little or no recognition for their efforts along the way. It’s a programme that demands confidence, talent and hard work from the contestants and I was delighted to join forces with The Reverend Richard Coles and watch this group of charismatic painters as they strove to fulfil their potential over the weeks.” – Mariella Frostrup

Presented by Mariella Frostrup and The Reverend Richard Coles, BBC One challenges ten creative and inspired contestants to pick up their paintbrushes and dust off their palettes to join The Big Painting Challenge. Ten passionate amateur artists will undertake an intensive, six-week, artistic boot-camp, in a bid to perfect their skills and be crowned the overall champion.

Inspiring mentors Diana Ali and Pascal Anson will guide the ten new contenders – all with diverse artistic backgrounds – through different painting challenges in five separate disciplines.

“Being the daughter of an amateur artist myself I’m all too aware of the frustration and commitment required to keep going. It was fascinating to witness these ten amateur artists work their brushes into a frenzy and see their work develop impressively.” – Mariella Frostrup

Each episode, in the six part series, will ask them to rise to the challenge of producing two pieces of work in a different discipline, from portraiture to landscape to still life and movement; the painters visit different locations to inspire their masterpieces including the National Portrait Gallery, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, and Queen’s House in Greenwich. They will need to brush up on their sketching and perfect their portraiture as their artistic skills are put to the ultimate test of skill, creativity and paintwork.

At the end of each hour long episode, the contestants’ work will be exhibited to invited members of the local public, before judges Dr David Dibosa, Lachlan Goudie and Daphne Todd OBE critique the paintings and decide which contestant will be eliminated. Replicating the Atelier system which bore such artists as Leonardo da Vinci – the two mentors, Diana and Pascal, will run their own studios, by their own rules, with each choosing five contestants to guide and encourage through the challenges.

Mariella and Richard will follow the individual approaches of each of the ten amateur artists, as they take on these challenges in a bid to hone their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses, going on an artistic and personal journey to become the winner of The Big Painting Challenge 2017.

“I am delighted to be presenting The Big Painting Challenge with Mariella, partly because I love watching talented people grow and develop, in the intense focus of TV cameras, as we put in front of them baby elephants, ballerinas, national treasures and historic monuments and partly in the hope it will encourage people at home to get painting.” – Reverend Richard Coles

The Big Painting Challenge will air on BBC One in 2017.

Una Stubbs and Richard Bacon presented 2014’s BBC One painting series, The Big Picture
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