ITV’s long running arts and culture show The South Bank Show returns in 2009 for a new season of documentaries.
The Specialist Factual And Arts department delivers more high profile South Bank Shows when it returns at the end of January 2009. The 2009 season starts with the glittering South Bank Show Awards hosted by Melvyn Bragg from The Dorchester in London, in front of a star-studded audience.
The South Bank Show returns with a film about the influence of the Cambridge Footlights on television and radio comedy up to modern day. With an alumni of some of the most influential comedy figures including Peter Cook and John Cleese, the Cambridge Footlights has only ever used self-written material which has given rise to the writer performers who have dominated so much of comedy. The film follows the footlights through the swinging sixties and to the current Footlights alumni at the Edinburgh Festival, and beyond the fringe with contributions from many past Footlights – including one Peter Fincham.
The South Bank Show follows a year in the life of Will Young, one of the first musicians to emerge from the wave of reality talent shows that has revolutionised the music industry in Britain. Since winning Pop Idol in 2002, Young has broken out of the mould of manufactured pop star and gone on to become a multi-million selling singer songwriter and a respected live performer. With exclusive and intimate access to Young’s life and work as he prepares to celebrate his 30th birthday, the film promises to be an intensely personal and intimate journey through the working life of one of Britain’s most popular performers.
The South Bank Show examines why Shakespeare’s Tempest still holds such a fascination. The programme explores the historical events – the great sea ventures and journeys of discovery – and thinking that informed the play. It reveals the contemporary fascination with magic and the occult, and explores Shakespeare’s take on the Americas. Was it a utopian ‘brave new world’ or a hell of the colonists’ own making?
2009 is the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death. The South Bank Show marks the event with a programme that celebrates Handel’s great oratorio Messiah.Peter Kosminsky has directed some of the most controversial programmes to air on British Television and he tells Melvyn Bragg the story of his somewhat unlikely and often controversial career. Other subjects this season include: the Oscar winning American film writer William Goldman; Africa’s greatest writer Chinua Achebe and its newest star Chimanmanda Ngozi Adichie; and the much loved actress Julie Walters.