Belfast Telegraph

South Bank Show classics repeated

Classic interviews with some of the biggest names in music, art and showbusiness from the original South Bank Show will be repeated in a new series.

Melvyn Bragg will introduce clips from the show which ran on ITV for more than 30 years and also present up-to-date interviews and commentary.

Among the shows being brought back on Sky Arts over five years are the first episode, which featured an interview with Sir Paul McCartney, and a profile of painter Francis Bacon.

Lord Bragg said: "I started with McCartney partly because of his great talent, partly to make a point. I wanted The South Bank Show to reflect my own life and that of the team around me; to stretch the then accepted boundaries and challenge the accepted hierarchies of the arts; to include pop music as well as classical music, television drama as well as theatre drama and high definition performers in comedy as well as in opera.

"The idea that popular arts were shallow by definition and the traditional arts were profound was dead, I thought, and I wanted to prove it."

The show's subjects have included cultural heavyweights including Sir Laurence Olivier, Norman Mailer and Pavarotti.

Sky Arts director James Hunt said: "It was a real coup for us to work with Melvyn on the awards and the new shows ... with the South Bank Show II archive, we'll build the richest and most easily accessible arts documentary archive in the world.

"We've got big ambitions for what we do with the show."

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