Entertainment & Arts

BBC Two to dedicate Saturday nights to the arts

Marlon James and Alan Yentob
Image caption Man Booker winner Marlon James will be interviewed by Alan Yentob

BBC Two is to dedicate its Saturday night schedules to the arts during the autumn, the corporation has said.

The channel will cover subjects including music, performance, art, literature and cinema from 1 October.

Poet and musician Kate Tempest will lead an evening dedicated to National Poetry Day as part of the season.

Other highlights will include a documentary fronted by Alan Bennett, which will follow the author to iconic locations from his life.

Image caption Jan Morris will speak to Michael Palin on a special Artsnight

As part of the season on BBC Two:

  • Julie Walters will narrate The Secret Life Of Sue Townsend, in which Stephen Mangan, Ian Hislop and Isy Suttie will remember and pay tribute to the author, who died in 2014
  • A documentary, Christie's At 250, will see Christie's auction house open its doors to the BBC
  • The channel will air Young Men - the first feature film from all-male dance company BalletBoyz, the only dance company to release a full-length film to date
  • Alan Yentob will front an episode of Imagine in which he will profile author Marlon James, the first Jamaican writer to win the Man Booker Prize
  • On Artsnight, Michael Palin will interview Jan Morris, now 89, who made her name as a journalist by breaking the news of the conquering of Everest in 1953 and went on to become one of Britain's greatest travel writers
  • Poets Sabrina Mahfouz, Michael Symmons Roberts, Liz Berry, Andrew McMillan, Imtiaz Dharker and Sean O'Brien will attempt to capture a day in the lives of contemporary Britons in verse with Railway Nation: Across Britain In A Day
  • Actors, comedians, dancers and other performers, starting with Kate Tempest, will stage cutting-edge shows for Performance Live

BBC Two channel editor Patrick Holland said: "Great arts programming has the power to bring audiences to the cutting-edge, as well as to much loved art and artists.

"By focusing Saturday nights around arts, music, performance and cinema, we want to create space for new ideas, authored film-making, and the very best talent."

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