South Bank Show makes Sky return

Melvyn Bragg will present six new episodes of the South Bank Show, and there  will also be 30 updated programmes from the archives

Melvyn Bragg will present six new episodes of the South Bank Show, and there will also be 30 updated programmes from the archives

First published in National News © by

Melvyn Bragg is bringing his South Bank Show back to Sky with a year's worth of TV including interviews with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe and John Lloyd - the man behind shows including Spitting Image and Blackadder.

The broadcaster will present six new shows, including interviews with novelist Kate Atkinson, playwright Abi Morgan, and a special episode on King Lear with contributions from actor Simon Russell Beale and director Sam Mendes.

There will also be 30 updated episodes from the archives of the long-running show, which counts names including Francis Bacon, Iggy Pop, Luciano Pavarotti and Sir Paul McCartney among its guests, and a series of 15 masterclasses.

Bragg said: " I'm delighted. It's like holding a royal flush. The South Bank Show continues to profile the best artists of the day; The South Bank Show Originals will remodel new programmes from old; and the masterclasses will give young people access to leading artists.

"In short, you could say we will inform, educate, and entertain. And next year of course, there will be another South Bank Sky Arts Awards - and all under one brand."

The show, which returns to Sky Arts in May with the new episodes, was dropped in 2009 when ITV decided not to continue with the series after more than 30 years.

Bragg - who also sits in the House of Lords - later said he was ''baffled'' by the decision to axe the show.

Phil Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts, said: " The South Bank Show has a natural home on Sky Arts.

"From its inception, Melvyn's aim was to challenge the boundaries between traditional and popular arts; and that's very much what we try to do on Sky Arts. We're delighted that we're able to bring The South Bank Show, in all forms, to our customers."

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