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BBC NI celebrates local artists, writers and musicians in new series


Some of the figures to feature in a new series of BBC programmes on the arts

Some of the figures to feature in a new series of BBC programmes on the arts

Some of the figures to feature in a new series of BBC programmes on the arts

A new series of programmes commissioned by BBC Northern Ireland to celebrate the work of local artists, poets and musicians will be made available at the end of this month.

The series will feature profiles on musician Neil Hannon, poet Medbh McGuickan and visual artist Rita Duffy under the title Season of Arts.

There will also be programmes celebrating new faces in the world of the arts, including performances from new Northern Ireland bands and performers such as Amy Montgomery, Joshua Burnside and Lilla Vargen.

Visual artist and author, Oliver Jeffers will reflect on how world events and parenthood have affected his work with Joe Lindsay, and a new documentary will explore how a woman from rural County Antrim became a bestselling author writing for Mills & Boon.

The broadcaster will also previously-broadcasted documentaries and programmes, featuring bands such as Snow Patrol and the poet Seamus Heaney.

It will give audiences a chance to see what drives artists, musicians, writers and performers at a time when coronavirus has stopped the public experiencing live performance and visiting galleries and events, said the broadcaster.

Head of Content Commissioning at BBC NI Eddie Doyle said they recognise the value and importance of the sector they have always been keen to support in Northern Ireland.

"We wanted to provide our audiences with some new content and help to bring the arts to them during this challenging time, while also providing another chance to see some acclaimed arts programmes we have broadcast in the past."

Highlights include:

Neil Hannon: Thirty Years Of The Divine Comedy

Neil Hannon looks back on his 30 year career to date with the popular music ’90s group, The Divine Comedy in a programme scripted by Mr Hannon himself. It also airs on BBC One NI on Tuesday 26 January at 10.45pm.

Edward Carson And The Fall Of Oscar Wilde

This new documentary tells the story of the court clash at the Old Bailey in 1895 between Oscar Wilde and Edward Carson, remembered as the leader of unionism and architect of Irish Partition. It's also on BBC One NI on Monday 1 February at 10.45pm.

Mills & Boon: Writing For Love In Northern Ireland

She may not be a household name but Lynne Graham has sold 45 million copies of her books in a career spanning more than 40 years writing for bodice-ripping publisher Mills & Boon. BBC One NI on Monday 25 January at 10.45pm.

Rita Duffy: Portrait of an Artist

Visual artist Rita Duffy has dealt with the Troubles and the role of women in our society in her work. A new work, Anatomy of Hope, looks at the current pandemic. BBC Two NI on Wednesday 27 January at 10pm.

Medbh McGuickan: Portrait Of A Poet

Medbh’s poems are brought to life through recitals and performances. BBC Two NI on Wednesday 3 February at 10pm.

BBC Northern Ireland’s Season Of Arts will also be available on BBC iPlayer from Friday, January 22, with some programmes to be added over the following few weeks.

Belfast Telegraph