Sky Arts Playhouse Presents… Emma Thompson, Sir Tom Jones and David Tennant

Playhouse Presents is just one of a number of new programmes which Sky say will enhance their arts channel’s output along with a chance for Michael Parkinson to chat again.

“Sky Arts is to become even bigger and better, with a range of ambitious new commissions, innovations and initiatives for 2012. Sky Arts is set to engage, excite and inspire even more audiences, whether on-screen through exclusive new programming or on the ground through investment in arts projects across the UK.” Sky state.

Playhouse Presents is a series of comedy dramas which will air on Sky Arts from April this year onwards. Stars taking part include Brenda Blethyn, Paul O’Grady, Sheila Hancock, Richard E. Grant, Emma Thompson, Russell Tovey, Zoe Wanamaker, John Hurt, David Tennant and Tom Jones to name only a few.

The programme aims to build on Sky Arts’ successful Sandi Toksvig visions Playhouse Live and Theatre Live. Playhouse Presents is described as an incredibly diverse, richly crafted production, which will recreate famous moments in history, span universal themes and genres and showcase a wealth of acting, directing and writing talent in the UK.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer our customers this kind of content, and the unique opportunity to experience what we do off screen as well as on. Needless to say, we’re also thrilled that, in our new home, it’s even easier for them to find us, and to find more of what they love.”  – James Hunt, Director of Sky Arts

Other new programming for the channel includes former chat show host and radio presenter Michael Parkinson fronting Masterclass which will see the veteran presenter chat to the key practitioners of the arts world, in the definitive interview of their life and times.

Whether it’s how to write the perfect song or how a masterpiece is sculpted, Masterclass will explore the art of their craft. The show is due to air in the autumn.

“I’ve always said I’ve got the best job in TV – and our plans for 2012 only confirm this for me, It’s hard to know what to be most excited by – the thrilling talent we now have coming to the channel, the raft of fantastic ideas we have for programmes or the enormously exciting work that’s happening off air.” – James Hunt, Director of Sky Arts