Patrick Stewart, Costa Book of the Year winner, Arts Council England's new 10-year strategy
Samira talks to Sir Patrick Stewart about what tempted him back to Star Trek to play Jean-Luc Picard for the first time in 18 years. Star Trek: Picard finds the legendary Starfleet officer in retirement but still deeply affected by the loss of Lieutenant Commander Data and the destruction of Romulus that ended his career. Stewart also discusses the parallels between the world of Star Trek: Picard and politics today.
The overall winner of the Costa Book of the Year is announced on Front Row, live from the ceremony. Contenders this year include debut novelist Sara Collins, novelist Jonathan Coe, biographer Jack Fairweather, poet Mary Jean Chan and children’s novelist Jasbinder Bilan.
Continuing our Risk Season, Sharmaine Lovegrove tells us about the risks involved in setting up Dialogue Books, an imprint that publishes authors from under-represented communities, including writers from BAME, LGBTQI+ and working class backgrounds.
Arts Council England’s Chief Executive Darren Henley and Amanda Parker, Editor of arts industry journal, Arts Professional, discuss “Let’s Create” - the Arts Council’s new 10-year Strategy which seeks to expand our nation’s creative opportunities.
Image: Sir Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: Picard
Image credit: Amazon Prime Video
Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Simon Richardson
Scorsese - The Irishman, Risk Season continues, Naum Gabo exhibition
Martin Scorsese has the most Oscar nominations of any living director though he has only won once, for his 2006 film The Departed. Nominated again this year for The Irishman, he talks about the film’s themes of ageing, guilt and redemption – and about how it would feel to win.
As part of our season looking at risk in the arts, we consider when risk is disproportionately apportioned to working with diverse talent like women or black artists. The result is that white male practitioners are seen as a safe pair of hands and women and BAME talent are ignored even if they have proven their success in the past. We investigate the scale of the problem and what can be done to change it with Dawn Walton, Head of Revolution Mix theatre group and Clare Binns Joint Managing Director, Picturehouse.
Artist, engineer, architect and poet, Naum Gabo was a leading spirit in the radical arts flourishing after the Russian Revolution. When the Soviet authorities cracked down on avant-garde art, Gabo worked at the Bauhaus in Germany, collaborated with Diaghilev in Paris, and energised London's art scene. During the war Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson persuaded him to come to St Ives. His work was startlingly spare and made beautiful use of industrial materials. Tate St Ives presents the first major exhibition of Gabo’s work for more than 30 years. Michael Bird, who lives in St Ives and has written about Gabo, reviews the show.
Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Oliver Jones
Main image: Martin Scorsese
In a career spanning half a century, Martin Scorsese has told stories about masculinity, music, violence, guilt and redemption – in films including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino and many more. Despite nine best director Oscar nominations in that time, Scorsese only has one win to his name, for The Departed. But that tally could rise if his latest movie The Irishman wins him another Oscar. For Front Row, he talks to John Wilson from New York about his hopes of winning, representation on screen, and the themes that have permeated all his work.
Pet Shop Boys, Emotional risk taking in the arts, The Eye As Witness
The Pet Shop Boys talk about their highly anticipated new studio album Hotspot, which is released today. Hotspot is the duo’s final release with producer Stuart Price who ushered in a period of ‘electronic purism’ in their work. Recorded using a large amount of analogue equipment, Hotspot is a departure from the Pet Shop Boy’s recent hyper dance pop sound.
Front Row's series examining risk in the arts focuses today on emotional risk. What is it like for writers and performers to explore their own personal backgrounds and issues and then to go public with their revelations and confessions, and how much has that changed in recent years? Louise Allen addresses the challenge of putting her experiences of an abusive childhood in foster care onto the page in her memoir Thrown Away Child, and stand-up Ahir Shah discusses drawing on his own personal mental health issues in his stage act.
Next Monday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. We are all familiar with images of victims of the Holocaust. Most of these, though, were actually taken by the Nazis for propaganda purposes and to create a historical record. The Eye as Witness , a new touring exhibition organised by The National Holocaust Centre and Museum, challenges these views. Professor Maiken Umbach explains how, using virtual reality technology, viewers can enter into a photograph to experience how it was framed and, crucially, what is not shown, including the photographer taking the picture. The exhibition focuses, too, on photographs taken, at enormous risk, by the inmates of the ghettoes and camps. Some of these images were buried and retrieved once the war was over. They reveal, amidst degradation and evil, a zest for life, humanity and love.
Presenter: Stig Abell
Producer: Hilary Dunn
Guz Khan, Calculating Risk, Northern Writing
As the BBC Three hit comedy Man Like Mobeen returns for a third series, its creator and star, Guz Khan, discusses the development of his on screen persona, Mobeen Deen, and why his show has something for everyone.
Front Row's Risk Season continues with filmmaker Penny Woolcock and Richard Mantle, General Director of Opera North. Both have faced big creative challenges and join Front Row to discuss how to decide if a risk is worth taking.
The Portico Prize, the UK’s biennial award for outstanding literature that best evokes the spirit of the North, is awarded on Thursday 23 January. Portico Prize judge, poet, and novelist Zahid Hussain and Claire Malcolm, founding CEO of the regional writing development agency, New Writing North, discuss what constitutes writing that reflects the North and the hurdles such writing faces.
Presenter: Katie Popperwell
Producer: Ekene Akalawu