Genuine LOL and my other reactions to the BBC Arts announcement.

TV While I was in Manchester, this happened, which can't go without comment. A few choice paragraphs. Firstly from that blog post by the head of BBC Arts, Jonty Claypole, who lets face it at least has the right name. Someone called Jonty Claypole should be the heard of BBC Arts:

"Our second commitment is to do more to cover the many extraordinary cultural events across the country with a new cross-platform strand BBC ARTS at… It will launch on television in May with a Museums at Night special, theatre from The Globe and expanded coverage of the Hay Festival."

Bloody hell. Does that mean broadcasts of things which have already been recorded or live events? Will this include both theatres? Again I say, bloody hell.

"Which brings me to the maddening way I keep referring to BBC ARTS in that rather monolithic upper-case. It’s because we’re treating it as a new brand within the BBC in the way we treat NEWS or SPORT. As of today, regardless of where a piece out of output originates, if it is about the arts, it is part of something else too. BBC ARTS is a way of working together. It is, first and foremost, a recognition that we need to join up, to get acknowledgement for what we do, to think strategically about how we support and enrich culture, and keep our place at the vanguard of that globally acknowledged phenomenon: British Arts."

It's actually an interesting choice. BBC Culture or BBC Knowledge seemed like they would be the way to go with this, but BBC Arts is more direct and also creates very specific expectations as to the kinds of things it might do. BBC Culture is a breath away from Humanities which would have been a bit woolly under these circumstances and BBC Knowledge lets in science, which is wrong too.

Now for The Guardian version.

"The new season of arts will include adaptations of Shakespeare's Richard III and Henry VI, a sequel to Kenneth Clark's landmark TV series Civilisation, and live broadcasts of plays and events across the country in collaboration with the Hay festival, Glyndebourne and the Royal Academy."

The Hollow Crown season two is commissioned then.

"A new strand, "BBC Arts At ..." promises viewers a "front row seat" at arts and music events across the country, including the Duchess of Malfi, starring Gemma Arterton, the first production from the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe."

BLOODY HELL. See above. Now, please, please, please let it be a recording within the theatre and not some quasi-studio based recreation.

"Other new shows include a portrait of Dylan Thomas starring Tom Hollander, a profile of David Hockney and an adaptation of the Three Little Pigs for CBeebies in collaboration with the Northern Ballet."

Genuine LOL.  Which goes for the whole thing.  There aren't enough hours in the day.  There'll be the usual comments about elitism especially with the virtual shelving of BBC Three, but two things on that (1) I don't care and (2) elitism only exists if people assume that something isn't for them.  Up until about three weeks ago I didn't think ballet was for me.  How wrong I was.

The BBC's own press release covers the main points of the day which also includes classical music coverage on BBC Three.  Yes, indeed.

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