Front Row: Archive 2013inactive
Publisher |
BBC
Magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music.
Country Of Origin |
United Kingdom
Premiere Date |
2013-01-01
Finale date |
2014-01-01
Frequency |
Daily

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259 Episodes Available

Average duration:00:28:25

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With Kirsty Lang. As more and more of us are bingeing on box-sets and stream programmes via our laptops, Kirsty asks whether we're witnessing the death of the cliff-hanger and water-cooler TV, as predicted by Kevin Spacey in this year's MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Spacey was the star of The House Of Cards, the first series made by the subscription service Netflix and the first drama ever to be nominated for an Emmy that wasn't show on television. This year also saw the end of Breaking Bad, a word-of-mouth hit that was only available on-line or as a box-set in this country, and further evidence that we may be turning away from traditional television and watching programmes at our own leisure. Producer: Stephen Hughes.
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Mark Lawson turns Quizmaster to test the cultural knowledge of two teams in the Front Row Quiz of the Year. Singer and performer Jackie Clune and playwright Mark Ravenhill are led by writer and Booker judge Natalie Haynes. They are competing against actress and writer Helen Lederer and Citizen Khan creator and star Adil Ray, under the captaincy of crime writer Mark Billingham. Questions cover a wide range of the year's events, including Doctor Who's 50th birthday; best-selling autobiographies, with extracts disguised by actor in residence Ewan Bailey; and a mathematical puzzle based around the compositions of Wagner, Britten and Verdi. Producer Claire Bartleet.
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With Mark Lawson. This year the shelf of great American authors unexpectedly lengthened when a novel called Stoner by John Williams, forgotten since its first appearance five decades ago, was republished to widespread acclaim. At the same time two neglected novels by Renata Adler received enthusiastic reviews when brought back into print after thirty years and two little known writers, 89 year old James Salter and 76 year old Edith Pearlman, were hailed as newly discovered geniuses. Salter, Pearlman and Adler reflect on literary resurrection and Julian Barnes and Ruth Rendell discuss the comeback of Stoner. Producer: Ellie Bury.
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With Naomi Alderman. The last episode of cult TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer was broadcast in Britain ten years ago. At the time, Naomi believed that the show would lead to the creation of a host of other strong and complex female leads - who would inspire young women in the same way Buffy had inspired her. So where are all the "daughters of Buffy"? Naomi explores Buffy's legacy with the help of Buffy's creator Joss Whedon, and with actor Anthony Head, writers Neil Gaiman and Rhianna Pratchett, TV executives Jane Root and Susanne Daniels, and mega-fans Blake Harrison and Bim Adewunmi. Producer: Rebecca Nicholson.
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In new interviews, Mark Lawson talks to the people who have had exceptional years in the world of arts, culture and entertainment in 2013, in the second of two special programmes. David Tennant talks about his roles in the two most highly anticipated television events of 2013 - the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special and the final episode of Broadchurch. He discusses which accent he decided on for his roles in The Escape Artist, the Politician's Husband and to play Shakespeare's Richard II on stage. Dame Helen Mirren, who won the Evening Standard Best Actress award for her role in The Audience, talks about playing Queen Elizabeth II for the second time. Olivia Colman remembers the night she won two Bafta Awards, for Accused and Twenty Twelve, and reveals her strategies for avoiding unwanted attention from the paparazzi. Stephen Frears talks about working with Judi Dench and Steve Coogan on his hit film Philomena and why he is drawn to make films about real people and events. Director Clio Barnard won critical acclaim for her second film The Selfish Giant, an adaptation of an Oscar Wilde fairy tale. She discusses taking The Selfish Giant to the Cannes Film Festival and explains why she will always work with children and animals. Producer: Olivia Skinner.
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With Mark Lawson, who in the first of two special programmes, talks to Front Row's People of the Year : our choice of the artists who have made headlines in the world of arts, culture and entertainment in 2013. Tonight's selection is : David Suchet - for his portrayal of the detective Poirot who appeared for the last time this year Zawe Ashton - star of Fresh Meat on Channel 4 Lucy Kirkwood - award winning playwright for "Chimerica" Hilary Mantel - winner of the Costa book of the year for "Bringing Up The Bodies" Marin Alsop - the first woman to conduct Last Night of the Proms Eleanor Catton - youngest winner of the Man Booker Prize The second programme is on Christmas Eve. Producers: Dymphna Flynn and Rebecca Armstrong.
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With Kirsty Lang. As Mary Poppins looks forward to its 50th birthday, and a film about the making of the movie, Saving Mr Banks, is tipped for Oscar success, Julie Andrews reflects on a career that has made her an icon for generations of children. She also discusses the emotional impact of no longer being able to sing, and reveals how she plans to entertain audiences on a 2014 tour. Presenter and Python Michael Palin talks to Kirsty about the life and work of painter Andrew Wyeth - the focus of his new television documentary - and explains why costume changes will be the hardest part of the Monty Python reunion tour. Robert Redford stars in All is Lost, a survival film about a man lost at sea, with almost no dialogue or supporting cast. Mark Eccleston delivers his verdict. George Clooney's forthcoming film, The Monuments Men, depicts a group of soldiers tasked with protecting art stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War. In light of this, Major Hugo Clarke of the International Blue Shield - an organisation promoting the protection of art and culture in war zones - John Curtis of the British Museum, and archaeologist Dr Lamia al-Gailani, discuss the importance of training the military to protect cultural heritage during conflict. Producer: Ellie Bury.
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With John Wilson. Ben Stiller directs and stars in the second screen adaptation of the 1939 short story by James Thurber, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Stiller plays a timid magazine photo manager who lives life vicariously through his daydreams, but when a negative goes missing, his real life takes an adventurous turn. Film critic Gaylene Gould reviews. Actor David Morrissey talks to John about filming on a train with Sheridan Smith for new two-part drama The 7.39, why The Walking Dead decides how long his beard should be, and narrating the audiobook of his namesake's autobiography. As Derry-Londonderry's year as City of Culture comes to an end, Front Row revisits the other cities that were shortlisted for the award. Chris Gribble who runs the Writers' Centre Norwich, Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of the Birmingham Hippodrome and Paul Billington, director of Culture and Environment for Sheffield, discuss the experience of being shortlisted, how their city's culture has fared this year, and how their cultural institutions are surviving the arts cuts that have made the headlines in 2013. Adam Smith reflects on the proliferation of text on the small and big screen - from text messages to 3D subtitles. Producer: Rebecca Armstrong.
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Mark Lawson reviews the new production of Coriolanus. Josie Rourke directs Shakespeare's tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, with Tom Hiddleston making his return to the Donmar Warehouse in London in the title role. Producer: Rebecca Armstrong.
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With Mark Lawson. Oscar contender American Hustle stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams as a pair of con artists who are forced to help the FBI in a huge sting operation, but things go awry when Bale's erstwhile wife, Jennifer Lawrence, gets involved. Critic Antonia Quirke delivers her verdict. It would be hard to miss Mark Gatiss' work over the course of the holiday period. On Christmas day, he makes his directorial debut with The Tractate Middoth and follows it with Ghost Writer, a documentary about M.R. James, who wrote the original story upon which his drama is based. Earlier in the day, there's a chance to catch up on his bio-pic about the beginnings of Dr Who, An Adventure In Space And Time. New Year's Day sees the start of a new series of Sherlock, which Gatiss co-created and takes a supporting role as Holmes' brother, Mycroft. Meanwhile, the actor-writer-director is appearing on stage in London in a new version of Coriolanus. 2013 has been an eventful year in music, bookended by surprise albums from David Bowie and Beyonce and featuring the rise of 17 year old New Zealander Lorde and a chart topping album from Rod Stewart, his first UK number 1 since 1976. For those who are dazzled by the choice, Gemma Cairney, Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Kate Mossman join Mark to give their recommendations for the pop, classical and alternative albums of the year. Producer: Dymphna Flynn.
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With Mark Lawson. Ron Burgundy returns in Anchorman 2. Will Ferrell's hirsute newsreader and his crack team of reporters make it to the big-time as they bring their unique brand of newsgathering to New York city. Mishal Husain discusses whether this sequel to the cult comedy has stayed classy. Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical examines the life and death of society osteopath Stephen Ward, a key figure in the 1963 Profumo scandal, who later committed suicide. Lloyd Webber explains the crucial role Front Row played in the musical coming to fruition and discusses his frustration at the secrecy surrounding the events of Ward's trial. It's the battle of the costume dramas this Christmas. From the BBC it's Death Comes to Pemberley, adapted from PD James's follow-up to Pride and Prejudice. Six years after the marriage of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy, the couple are preparing for the annual ball at their magnificent Pemberley home, when the family's peace is shattered by a murder in the estate's woodlands. And from ITV, it's Downton Abbey where it's the summer season and as part of Rose's 'coming out' she is to be presented at Buckingham Palace. Rachel Cooke reviews both. Producer: Ellie Bury.
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With Mark Lawson. Martin Freeman returns this week as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in Peter Jackson's trilogy. He talks to Mark about the physical difficulties of shooting scenes with Ian McKellen's towering Gandalf and how his commitment to the BBC's Sherlock almost cost him the role altogether. Bret Easton Ellis' cult novel American Psycho has been adapted as a new musical starring Matt Smith as Patrick Bateman, the successful Manhattan banker turned serial killer. Dreda Say Mitchell reviews. Mark investigates whether dividing large publishing houses into small imprints improves authors' chances of winning literary prizes. With Editor in Chief of Atlantic Books Ravi Mirchandani. Jeff Park, Front Row's Crime Fiction aficionado, joins Mark to reveal his Christmas round-up of crime books. Jeff's Top Six:- Samurai Summer, by Ake Edwardson The Ghost Riders Of Ordebec, by Fred Vargas Dead Lions, by Mick Herron The Siege, by Arturo Pérez-Reverte The Enigma Of China, by Qiu Xiaolong The Square Of Revenge, by Pieter Aspe Also recommended:- The Late Monsieur Gallet, by Georges Simenon The Good Suicides, by Antonio Hill The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) Rogue Male, by Geoffrey Household A Conspiracy Of Faith, by Jussi Adler-Olsen The Scent Of Death, by Andrew Taylor Death Of A Nightingale, by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis Producer: Timothy Prosser.
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John Wilson is in Salford for the unveiling of this year's Front Row neon artwork. The artwork was established in 2011 to celebrate the presence of the BBC in the north and involves a cultural luminary supplying a word in their handwriting to be rendered in neon. The writer and comedian Victoria Wood is the guest artist for the 2013 artwork and joins John to switch it on. Singer-Songwriter Sam Smith is the winner of this year's Brits Critics' Choice award. He follows Adele, Florence & the Machine, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J, Emeli Sandé, and Tom Odell, who have also won the award in previous years. Earlier this year, Smith's collaboration with the much in demand record producer Naughty Boy led to the number one hit single La La La. Smith talks to John Wilson about what the award means to him and why he's looking forward to 2014. Moonfleet is a new television family drama starring Ray Winstone and Phil Daniels as members of a gang of smugglers. Adapted by Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes), from the John Meade Falkner novel, the story is set in a small Dorset village called Moonfleet and follows the gang in their attempt to find a lost diamond. The writer Flic Everett reviews. The Imperial War Museum North has just unveiled a World War I painting that hasn't been seen in public for almost a century. Ypres, 1915 was an Imperial War Museum commission for the museum's first home in Crystal Palace. Damaged by water, the huge painting by Gilbert Rogers - it's more than three metres high and 4 metres wide - remained in storage for decades. It's now been restored and put on view to mark the start of the museum's First World War centenary programme. John takes a look at the painting in the company of curator Jenny Wood. Producer: Ekene Akalawu.
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With Mark Lawson Alan Bennett gives his reaction as his drama The History Boys is named the nation's favourite play by the English Touring Theatre's 21st Anniversary poll. A forthcoming two-part television drama, starring Jim Broadbent and Luke Evans, is going to show both sides of the 1963 Great Train Robbery. Firstly from the point of view of the criminals and then of the police who tracked them down afterwards. Written by Chris Chibnall, creator of the hit TV series Broadchurch, the two dramas are timed for the 50th anniversary of the crime - a raid on a Royal Mail train that netted the then-record haul of £2.6m. Crime writer NJ Cooper reviews. Terry Pratchett's 40th Discworld novel brings the wonders of steam-power to Ankh-Morpork when enterprising young Dick Simnel builds a steam engine. It's 30 years since Terry Pratchett began writing about Discworld, and he talks to Mark about how the ideas for stories appear, what he does with these ideas if they aren't quite ready to be put into a book, and how he and his assistant Rob Wilkins have been teaching Terry's voice-activated software to recognise some of Discworld's more unlikely names. The Duck House is a new political satire focusing on the 2009 Expenses Scandal. Labour MP Robert Houston, played by Ben Miller, is planning to escape defeat in the next election by defecting to the Tory party when the scandal breaks. Houston must try to persuade the Tories he is squeaky-clean while trying to hide the duck house he put on expenses. Political journalist Andrew Rawnsley reviews. Produced by Ella-mai Robey.
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With Mark Lawson. Front Row's annual Christmas Jukebox returns with music writers Rosie Swash and David Hepworth joining Mark to assess the various candidates in this year's festive single line-up, and advise on which are 2013's Christmas crackers. As a short story by Stieg Larsson is published for the first time, Mark talks to Larsson's friend John-Henri Holmberg, who has edited a collection of Swedish crime stories, A Darker Shade, which also features the first work of fiction by Larsson's partner Eva Gabrielsson to be published in English. Howard Brenton's latest work Drawing the Line at the Hampstead theatre is set on the Indian sub-continent during Partition in 1947. Kamila Shamsie reviews the play in which Cyril Radcliffe, with no knowledge of India or expertise in cartography, is set the daunting task of drawing the new border. Producer: Olivia Skinner.
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With Kirsty Lang Derren Brown's latest television show sees the illusionist attempt to teach a group of senior citizens how to steal a valuable painting from a gallery in broad daylight. Derren tells Kirsty why he chose to focus on an art theft, and also explains his reason for choosing senior citizens to pull it off. Metro Manila, a low-budget thriller set in the Philippines and shot entirely in the Austronesian language of Tagalog, was last night named British independent film of the year. Its director, Sean Ellis - who had to re-mortgage his home to fund the film - picked up the Best Director prize. Larushka Ivan-Zadeh reviews the film, and considers the extraordinary story behind it. Kirsty talks to MJ Delaney about her first feature film, Powder Room. Adapted from a play, When Girls Wee, it follows a group of young women during a night out clubbing. Set mostly in the ladies' room, Sam (Sheridan Smith) is down on her luck and thinks everyone's happier than she is, so she pretends to be something she isn't. MJ made her name as the director of Newport State Of Mind, a music video parody of a Jay-Z and Alicia Keys song, Empire State Of Mind, which went viral in 2010. Author Eimear McBride talks about her debut novel, A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing, which recently won the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize. The book is an experimental work - the story of an Irish girlhood told by an un-named narrator - and it was completed nine years ago, but Eimear struggled to find a publisher for it. She discusses trying to create a new sort of fiction - between the language of James Joyce and the silence of Samuel Beckett - and explains why she believes publishers should take more chances with challenging fiction. Producer: Rebecca Nicholson.
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With Kirsty Lang. Lenny Henry pays tribute to Nelson Mandela and discusses the role that musicians and comedians played in the movement to free him. Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz talk about their retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Fraser is one of the UK's best-known disabled performers and Muz is one of New York's most famous burlesque artists. They met whilst performing at a Freak show on Coney Island and their love story entwines with that of Beauty and the Beast. Lesley Manville discusses her acting career and her two new productions, Ghosts on stage and The Christmas Candle on film. Jason Solomons reviews Fill The Void, a new Israeli film about an arranged marriage. Producer: Stephen Hughes.
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With John Wilson. Daniel Radcliffe's latest project is playing the young Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings. Based on a true story, the film follows a 17-year-old Ginsberg as he starts at Columbia University in 1944. A murder draws him together with Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs and leads to the birth of the Beat Generation. Writer and critic Michael Carlson gives his verdict. Writers Alex Clark and Danny Kelly discuss which of this year's best-selling autobiographies have the X-factor, judging the works of Morrissey, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jennifer Saunders by artistic impression, revelations, scores settled and sexual content. Singer John Newman first attracted attention for his vocal on Rudimental's hit single Feel the Love last year. He followed that success this year when both his debut single Love me Again and debut album Tribute topped the UK charts. He reveals where the raw emotion on his album comes from and discusses the challenge of writing a follow-up. This year's National Theatre Christmas show is an adaptation of Erich KÃstner's classic children's novel Emil and the Detectives. Detective novelist and critic Stephanie Merritt was at the first night and gives her response. Producer: Jerome Weatherald.
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With Mark Lawson. Last night Jude Law took to the London stage as Henry V in Michael Grandage's final play in his current West End season. Law, who previously played Hamlet under Grandage's direction, performs a paired-down text in a simple stage setting. Rachel Cooke was at the first night last night and gives her response. As the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls prepares to play a 'short but difficult' Schumann piano piece at a charity event this weekend, music critic Norman Lebrecht considers other politicians who have stepped up to the mic for a musical performance. David Steel, Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Silvio Berlusconi are just a few who've performed in public, but is it always a good idea? Atiq Rahimi talks about his film, The Patience Stone, adapted from his award-winning novel of the same name. A powerful tale of one woman's resolve to break free from silence and oppression, he reveals the influence behind the story, and discusses the difficulties of turning his novels into films. The "...Up" series of documentaries, revisiting the same diverse group of children every 7 years began in Britain in 1964, with the original children reaching 56 in the most recent series. The format has also been adopted all over the world and tonight ITV broadcasts the most recent South African version, with the participants now aged 28. Gabriel Tate reviews the programme. Producer: Ellie Bury.
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Nebraska is the latest road movie from Alexander Payne, the director of oenophile comedy Sideways. In Nebraska, Bruce Dern plays an ageing father who takes a trip with his son across the mid-west to pick up a million-dollar prize. Critic Leslie Felperin delivers her verdict. Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday and Julie Andrews have all appeared on the London stage this year, in one-woman shows performed by Cush Jumbo, Nina Kristofferson and Sarah-Louise Young respectively. The three actresses reflect on the pitfalls of dedicating a show to a beloved performer, and how it feels to have a close friend of that performer make themselves known in the audience. Philomena director Stephen Frears reveals the part he played in one of this year's surprise hits in publishing, Love, Nina, a nanny's account of family life by Nina Stibbe. Investigative journalist John Pilger turns his gaze on his home country of Australia and the treatment of indigenous people, in his latest documentary Utopia. He tells Mark about the reception he is expecting down under. Producer: Stephen Hughes.
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With Mark Lawson. The RSC's stage adaptations of Hilary Mantel's bestselling novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are currently in rehearsal before their sell-out run in Stratford-upon-Avon. Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton, who has adapted the novels, discuss the challenges of transposing such vast and densely populated books to the stage. Critics Catherine Bray and Adam Smith review Oldboy, Spike Lee's re-make of the Korean revenge drama, and discuss how it compares with other Hollywood versions of foreign-language dramas. The historic department stores Liberty of London and Bergdorf's in New York come under the spotlight this week. A three-part Channel 4 documentary series goes behind the scenes at Liberty's, while a new film Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's hears from leading figures in the fashion world about the profile of the family-run store. Finance writer Lucy Kellaway reviews both. Producer: Jerome Weatherald.
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John Wilson gets a sneak preview of the latest Coronation Street set at its new home in Salford Quays. He talks to the series creator Tony Warren, Executive Producer Kieran Roberts, and Weatherfield local Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls). As their controversial new show "Come and See" opens at the Sackler Serpentine Gallery in London, visual artists Jake and Dinos Chapman discuss their attitude to their subject matter and their sometimes difficult relationship with their audience. French director François Ozon's latest film, "Jeune et Jolie", is about a 17-year-old girl exploring her sexuality by becoming a high-class call girl. Novelist MJ Hyland delivers her verdict. And as previously unpublished JD Salinger stories see the light of day, John asks why some authors want their work to remain under wraps until long after their death. Producer: Ekene Akalawu.
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With John Wilson. Ian Rankin talks to John about the latest investigation by his much-loved detective, John Rebus - who has returned to the Edinburgh CID, but at a lower rank. The story is set amidst the current reform to the structure of the Scottish police - and Rebus finds himself in the middle of a culture clash between his fellow old-hands, and younger officers who use social media and what Rebus calls "touchy-feely policing methods". The Bible is an epic, 10 hour mini-series that dramatises the Old and New Testaments - from Genesis to Revelation. Each episode is action-packed: the first one, for example, includes Eden, Noah, Abraham and Isaac, and Moses parting the Red Sea. Natalie Haynes considers whether the series has mass-appeal, or is strictly for viewers interested in religion. The Beatles, David Bowie and Pink Floyd have all had their music mixed in the studio by legendary producer and engineer Ken Scott. He discusses working in Abbey Road, why The Beatles' White Album proved to be pivotal in his career, and the techniques he developed to create a distinctive sound. Stephen Shore is a pioneer of contemporary photography; after developing his style at Andy Warhol's Factory in the 1960s, he was the first living artist to have a solo exhibition of colour photography at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York. Shore continues to focus on the everyday subject matter that brought him attention - open highways, motel interiors, pedestrians and plates of food - but now works in Hebron, Abu Dhabi and Ukraine. Shore discusses his new exhibition, Something + Nothing, which shows his newer photographs side-by-side with work from the 1970s. Producer: Rebecca Nicholson.
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With Mark Lawson. The winner of the 25th William Hill Sports Book of the Year is announced live on Front Row from the ceremony in London. The books by the six authors shortlisted for the £25,000 prize cover genetics in sport, Lance Armstrong's doping, international football, rowing, Hitler's Berlin, corruption in cricket, and a racehorse doping gang. The shortlist in full (alphabetically by author's surname): The Boys In The Boat: An Epic True-Life Journey to the Heart of Hitler's Berlin by Daniel James Brown The Sports Gene: What Makes The Perfect Athlete by David Epstein Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy: A Journey to the Heart of Cricket's Underworld by Ed Hawkins I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Lagercrantz and Ruth Urbom Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang by Jamie Reid Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by David Walsh Mark talks to choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh, who is renowned for dance creations of visceral energy. This autumn tbe Southbank Centre celebrates her company's 25th anniversary. The French writer Marcel Pagnol is best-known for the 1986 screen adaptations of two of his books: Jean De Florette and Manon Des Sources. Actor Daniel Auteuil shot to fame in both films, and he's now directing Pagnol's Marseille trilogy: Marius, Fanny Et César. Fanny and Marius are released this week. Novelist Kamila Shamsie reviews. Producer: Timothy Prosser.
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With Mark Lawson. Front Row announces the shortlist for each category for this year's Costa Book Awards. Critics Sam Leith and Gaby Wood discuss the books nominated in the novel, first novel, poetry, biography and children's book categories and respond to the choices of books and writers. Comedian Russell Brand talks about the ideology behind his new tour The Messiah Complex - including why he is calling for a revolution. Brand also discusses whether there are limits to what he will tackle on stage, and how performing in Turkey made him re-evaluate how much he talks about sex while performing. Brian de Palma's 1976 horror movie, Carrie, was the first of Stephen King's books to be turned into a film. It was a box-office success - and its two female stars, Sissy Spacek as Carrie and Piper Laurie as her mother, were both nominated for Oscars. Now Carrie has just been remade, with Chloë Grace Moretz stepping into Sissy Spacek's shoes - but is it as scary as the original? Film critic Matt Thorne reviews. Producer: Olivia Skinner.
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With Mark Lawson. Saving Mr. Banks dramatises the real-life story behind the creation of Disney film Mary Poppins, starring Emma Thompson as Poppins author P.L. Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. Sarah Crompton reviews. The Politician's Wife screenwriter Paula Milne talks about the inspiration behind her drama Legacy, a new Cold War thriller for BBC2, starring Romola Garai, Charlie Cox and Simon Russell Beale. Award-winning violinist Janine Jansen discusses her new album of Bach Concertos and her relationship with her instrument, the 'Barrere' by Antonio Stradivari (1727), which is on extended loan. Producer: Claire Bartleet.
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With Kirsty Lang. Morecambe and Wise are remembered and revived in a new stage production called Eric And Little Ern, which follows on from a TV biopic of the double-act, a one-man show about Eric Morecambe, and the award-winning The Play What I Wrote. The writers and stars of this latest homage, Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens, discuss the reasons for the comedians' enduring appeal. Performance poet and rapper Kate Tempest won this year's Ted Hughes Prize for innovation in poetry for Brand New Ancients, an hour long spoken story depicting the intertwining lives of two families. As she begins a tour which will take the show all over the country, she explains who the Brand New Ancients are and reveals the play that changed her life. James Bond producers found themselves embroiled in a legal dispute with Kevin McClory - a co-writer of the 1965 film Thunderball - over who invented the cat-stroking supervillain Blofeld. As a result, the character was left on the shelf for 30 years but with news that the relevant rights have been acquired from the McClory estate, it looks like our most famous screen villain could be given a new lease of life. To reflect on the character of Blofeld and why he has become so ubiquitous in popular culture, journalist Stephen Armstrong came to the rescue. And 50 years after his death, the Chronicles of Narnia writer CS Lewis has been honoured with a memorial stone in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, explains how the selection process works. Produced by Ella-mai Robey.
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With Kirsty Lang. The artist Peter Blake's new exhibition Under Milk Wood is the culmination of a 25-year project, in which he's created a series of illustrations, portraits, watercolours, and photographs based on Dylan Thomas's 'play for voices'. Peter Blake looks back over his ambitious project and discusses his fascination for Thomas's celebrated work. A new film documentary, Leviathan, provides an insight into the harsh world of North Atlantic commercial fishing. With no narration, little dialogue, and long lingering shots of life aboard a fishing vessel, the film has divided audiences. Documentary film maker Molly Dineen gives her response. Iain Sinclair and Professor Jeffrey Richards tell the story of the chequered history of Gaslight, Thorold Dickinson's adaptation of Patrick Hamilton's play, which was suppressed by a Hollywood studio when it bought up the rights. Legend has it that the film only survives now because the director smuggled out a copy under the cloak of darkness. Sarah Ruhl's play In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) was nominated for three Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize after its initial Broadway run in 2009. Opening tonight at the St James Theatre in London, the play shows how 19th Century medicine used the female orgasm as a cure for hysteria, and how the invention of electricity transformed the treatment. Sarah Ruhl discusses the inspiration for the play and reflects on why it has been a hit in some surprising locations. Producer: Stephen Hughes.
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With Mark Lawson. As the first part of her autobiography is published, actress Anjelica Huston discusses her unconventional childhood with her father, film director John Huston, and why he encouraged her to roll cigars and drink sherry as a child, and what a Samurai warrior was doing in her kitchen. Hull has been named as UK City of Culture 2017, beating competition from Swansea Bay, Leicester and Dundee. John Godber, playwright and former Artistic Director of Hull Truck Theatre Company, and writer and journalist David Mark discuss Hull's historic and contemporary cultural significance. Lawrence Fox and Imogen Stubbs star in a new stage version of Strangers on a Train by Craig Warner, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, and famously filmed by Hitchcock. Critic Peter Kemp was at the opening night. Turner & the Sea at the National Maritime Museum claims to be the first full-scale examination of J.M.W. Turner's lifelong fascination with the sea. The exhibition features 120 works by Turner and his contemporaries, including The Fighting Temeraire. Art critic Charlotte Mullins gives her response to this latest Turner show. Producer: Jerome Weatherald.
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With Mark Lawson. Blue Is The Warmest Colour won the top prize, the Palme D'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, but was quickly mired in controversy when the actresses Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopolous complained about gruelling love scenes which took days to film. Subsequently, the director Abdellatif Kechiche said that the movie should not be released, as it had been sullied by accusations that it was a "horrible" shoot. Briony Hanson, a former programmer of the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival delivers her verdict. Last Tango in Halifax won the 2013 Bafta for Best Drama Series and went on to be broadcast in America to great acclaim. Series two begins tonight on BBC One and picks up where we left Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid's reunited childhood sweethearts. Writer Sally Wainwright discusses how she approached the follow-up. With news today that film producers are to make a sequel to the Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life", film critic Mark Eccleston explores some other surprising and unlikely film sequels. Writer Jez Butterworth and director Ian Rickson had one of the biggest critical hits of the last decade with their 2008 play Jerusalem. Now they have returned to the work which set light to their careers in 1995, Mojo. The new West End production of Mojo stars Rupert Grint, Brendan Coyle and Ben Whishaw as gangsters in 1950s Soho. Jez Butterworth and Ian Rickson discuss Mojo, Jerusalem and two decades of working together. Producer: Ellie Bury.
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With Mark Lawson. The Hunger Games : Catching Fire is the second adaptation of Suzanne Collins' runaway bestselling trilogy of novels. Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen in the post-apocalyptic state of Panem, where the Hunger Games are a televised fight to the death between teenagers. Rosie Swash gives her verdict. The realities of the modern political world come under scrutiny in Michael Ignatieff's new book Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics. The Canadian academic, writer and broadcaster shelved his university career to enter politics, becoming leader of the country's Liberal Party in 2008. On the line from Toronto - where the city's controversial mayor is fighting for political survival - Ignatieff reflects on his bruising electoral defeat and what he learnt on the front line of 21st century politics. Adrian Lester, Rory Kinnear and Lucy Kirkwood were among the winners at last night's Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Mark spoke to the night's winners as they reflected on the past year on stage. Tate Britain re-opens today after a major refurbishment. The Duveen galleries are hosting works by Alison Wilding, one of Britain's foremost sculptors known for her inventive approach to form and materials. She tells Mark about making a model of one of her pieces - Harbour - from a piece of cheese before working it in alabaster, and how she'll stop schoolchildren touching her work if she spots them. Following the announcement of the death of Doris Lessing on 17 November we pay tribute with an excerpt from a Front Row interview in 2008, where she talks about the effect of winning the Nobel Prize for literature on the sales of her books. Producer: Dymphna Flynn.
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With Kirsty Lang. Borgen is the Danish political drama that became an unexpected hit for the BBC when the first series aired in 2012. Now back on our screens with the third and potentially final series, creator Adam Price discusses why it was so important for the central character of the Prime Minister to be female and why Danish television has taken the world by storm in recent years. Jason Manford's career has taken him from stand-up to prime time presenter to singer, after winning TV talent show Born to Shine. Currently touring a new comedy show, Manford discusses entertaining the troops in Afghanistan, his scientific evaluation of his performances and, following his departure from The One Show, reflects on the roller coaster nature of fame. Collider, a new exhibition at The Science Museum, takes visitors into the heart of the biggest scientific experiment of our time, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Through the use of performance, music and video installations, the exhibition explains the discovery of the Higgs boson. Kirsty Lang takes a first look inside Collider and meets the curator, designer and particle physicists who have worked out how to convey the complex scientific concepts involved. Jude Law plays the title role in Dom Hemingway, a film about a London gangster looking to get compensation for spending twelve years in prison. Richard E. Grant co-stars as Hemingway's devoted best friend and side kick Dickie. Larushka Ivan-Zadeh reviews. Producer: Olivia Skinner.
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With Mark Lawson Author Donna Tartt discusses her long-awaited third novel, The Goldfinch. Like her previous books, The Secret History and The Little Friend, The Goldfinch has taken Tartt a decade to write. The plot centres around the theft of a priceless painting, the goldfinch of the title, which is stolen from a museum after a horrific bombing in the opening chapters. Donna Tartt talks about the long gestation period for her novels, and how studying Greek tragedy informed the book's structure. Actor Forest Whitaker discusses his starring role in The Butler, a film inspired by the real-life story of a White House butler who served during seven presidential administrations. Through the eyes of the butler and his family, the film follows the changing tides in American politics and race relations - from the assassinations of John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King, to the Black Panthers, and Watergate. The Pet Shop Boys' latest single is called Thursday. David Quantick considers which days of the week are the least-loved, by songwriters. Producer Rebecca Nicholson.
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John Wilson talks to the fashion designer Paul Smith, on the eve of a major exhibition of his work and influences at the Design Museum, London. Natalie Haynes reviews The Counsellor, a film about drug dealers on the US / Mexico border, starring Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt and Penelope Cruz, with an original screenplay by Cormac McCarthy. As the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Richard II, starring David Tennant, is streamed live to cinemas across the UK tonight, Lorne Campbell, artistic director of Northern Stage in Newcastle and Tom Morris from Bristol Old Vic debate the effect that live screening has on regional theatre. Johnny Cash biographer Robert Hilburn was the only journalist to witness the Folsom Prison Concert in 1968. He talks to John Wilson about Cash's troubled life and career. Producer Timothy Prosser.
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With Mark Lawson, The composer Sir John Tavener died today. Famous for his choral pieces The Lamb and Song for Athene - which was sung at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales - and for The Protecting Veil, for cello and orchestra. Nicholas Kenyon discusses his life and work. Plus a recent Front Row interview with Tavener himself. Curtain: Poirot's Last Case will see David Suchet making his final appearance as Agatha Christie's iconic Belgian detective. Crime writers Dreda Say Mitchell and Natasha Cooper, with crime fiction specialist Jeff Park, discuss the TV drama alongside a new translation of Pietr the Latvian: the first novel in Georges Simenon's Maigret series. Don Juan is given a modern day treatment in Don Jon, written, directed and staring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Also starring Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore, the comedy explores how films can lead to unrealistic expectations when it comes to finding love and a lasting relationship. Bel Mooney reviews. Producer Claire Bartleet.
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With Mark Lawson. Bryan Adams - best known as a musician and singer songwriter - also works as a professional photographer. For the past five years, Adams has been taking photographs of British war veterans who have suffered life changing injuries. The series of photographs has been published in a new book "Wounded: The Legacy of War". Bryan Adams discusses working with injured soldiers and his aim to show the effects of war. Mark interviews the Chinese pianist Lang Lang, as he releases a new disc of music by Prokofiev and Bartok, with conductor Sir Simon Rattle. As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, two new films revisit the 22nd November 1963. Parkland, staring Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti and Marcia Gay Harden, focuses on people who were unexpectedly caught up in events - including hospital staff and the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald. In the TV documentary The Day Kennedy Died, key witnesses, including the doctor who tried to save Kennedy's life, offer their version of events. Michael Goldfarb and Diane Roberts review both films. Producer Timothy Prosser.
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With John Wilson. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch survived Auschwitz by playing the cello in the Auschwitz Women's Orchestra. After the war she joined the English Chamber Orchestra and her son is the renowned cellist Raphael Wallfisch. On Sunday they both take part in a concert in Vienna marking the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch's reflects on her time in the prison camp, described in her memoir Inherit the Truth, which is republished this week. Gary Barlow discusses why it has taken him 14 years to produce a new solo record, how it felt to be dropped from his record label after Take That split, and what he thinks of criticism of The X Factor. A new British Library exhibition, Georgians Revealed: Life, Style and the Making of Modern Britain makes the case that the Georgians were the architects of modern Britain, introducing many of the interests and pursuits that endure today. Historian Amanda Vickery reviews. Producer Ellie Bury.
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With Kirsty Lang Kirsty talks to actors Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan as they play the roles of Jeeves and Wooster in a new stage version of one of P G Wodehouse's much-loved books. The architect Frank Gehry, whose Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles feature the undulating metallic curves for which he has become known, opens a new exhibition of his work this week. Frank Gehry discusses his new sculptures, a series of artworks based on fish, a recurrent motif in his art and architecture, as well as his designs for the new development at Battersea Power station in London. Stanley Spencer's masterpiece is a series of murals he painted in a small chapel in the Hampshire countryside. The paintings depict his life on the Salonika front during World War I, but concentrate on the domestic rather than the combat, on doing the laundry and eating jam sandwiches. The murals have now been removed while the chapel is undergoing restoration and is on show in London and then Chichester. The artist's biographer, Fiona MacCarthy, tells Kirsty about the story behind the paintings. This week a Swedish cinema announced that it was going to rate movies according to the Bechdel Test, in which movies get an A rating for gender equality if they have at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man. Melissa Silverstein, the founder of the influential Women And Hollywood website, tells Kirsty why she thinks this is just the start of a conversation we need to have about in women in film. Producer Stephen Hughes.
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With Mark Lawson. Zadie Smith discusses her new story The Embassy of Cambodia which is 69 pages long, and focuses on Fatou, a young African immigrant in Willesden, north-west London, who flees hardship in her own country only to face a different set of challenges in her new life. Lady Gaga's third album Artpop is released in the UK next week. Gaga's recent performance on The X Factor to promote the album attracted hundreds of complaints about its explicit nature. Meanwhile Lorde, a 16-year-old from New Zealand, has topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic singing about the glamorous world of pop that at once attracts and alienates teens. Kitty Empire discusses both singers' albums. nut is the new play by Olivier award-winning playwright debbie tucker green, whose previous plays include born bad and random. It follows a character called Elayne and those closest to her over one day in contemporary London. Shahidha Bari reviews. And with news that the actor David Morrissey will voice the audiobook of the singer Morrissey's Autobiography, Front Row reports on an expanding market and wonders why certain actors are cast for certain books, and what part consumer preference plays. Producer Jerome Weatherald.
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With Mark Lawson. Seduced and Abandoned is a new documentary made by the actor Alec Baldwin and the writer/director James Toback. The film was shot in Cannes and depicts the difficulties faced by filmmakers trying to find funding for their projects, with contributions from Ryan Gosling and Diane Kruger. Ryan Gilbey reviews this movie about the movie business. In Doctor Who's 50th anniversary year 11 authors have been commissioned to write short stories about the 11 Doctors. It was announced today that the final author in the series is Neil Gaiman who has written a story about Matt Smith's Doctor, called Nothing O'Clock. He talks to Mark about creating his own villain and why Margaret Thatcher makes a cameo appearance. As Channel Four receives complaints about the latest joke about Prince Harry's social life, we ask media lawyer Duncan Lamont about the use of irony as a defence - when is a joke not a joke, in terms of fictional wisecracks about real people. Californian soprano Angel Blue, a former model, is an award-winning opera singer, recently performing at the Wigmore Hall in London. Angel Blue discusses singing with Plácido Domingo, how she prepares for a performance, and her former life as a beauty queen. Today the world of academia reports that translators of Beowulf have misinterpreted the opening line of the epic poem for at least 200 years. Translator Amanda Hopkinson looks at accidental and deliberate mistranslations as well as untranslatable phrases in literature. Producer Dymphna Flynn.
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With Mark Lawson, including an interview with critic and writer Hermione Lee about her new biography of Penelope Fitzgerald, who published her first novel at the age of 60, and won the Booker Prize with her book Offshore at the age of 63. With the news of a massive find of Nazi looted art in a Munich flat this weekend, Mark speaks to art critic Bill Feaver and Head of Collections at the Berlin Jewish Museum Inka Bertz about the connection to the 1937 "Entartete Kunst" - the Degenerate art exhibition in Berlin which included work by Picasso, Paul Klee, Kandinsky and Nolde. J J Abrams, the creator of TV series Lost, discusses his latest work - S - a novel where the writing is not just between the lines but in the margins and in scraps of paper embedded between the pages. S tells the story of a book written by a mysterious author and two of its readers who correspond to each other via its yellowing pages. Abrams talks of its conception and why he handed the project to novelist Doug Dorst, while he worked on Star Trek and the new Star Wars movies. Fresh Meat returns to our screens tonight, joining the students at the beginning of their second year at university. John Yorke, former head of EastEnders and author of Into the Woods: A Five Act Journey into Story, joins Mark to reflect on how TV has used the passage of time to bolster plots and storylines. Producer Jerome Weatherald.
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With Kirsty Lang. The British rapper Tinie Tempah became a global sensation in 2010 with his debut album, winning the 2011 Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough Act. As he releases his second album, Demonstration, Tinie reflects on his fear of selling out, his support for the royal family and why he mentions Prince Harry, Jeremy Clarkson and Stephen Fry in his songs. Rosie Boycott reviews the Chilean film Gloria, which stars Paulina Garcia as a divorced woman in her late 50s who goes in search of romance. Garcia won Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival. Ballet star Carlos Acosta has written his first novel, Pig's Foot, which is the story of one family set against the backdrop of Cuban history from slavery to the present. He discusses why he is turning from ballet to literature. At the height of his success, novelist Dennis Wheatley sold over 50 million copies of his books worldwide in 28 languages, luring readers in with titles such as The Devil Rides Out and To The Devil A Daughter. Since his death in 1977, his fame and readership have declined. As a selection of Wheatley's books is re-published, Matthew Sweet considers the reasons for his rise and fall - and whether he will rise again. Producer Timothy Prosser.
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With John Wilson. David Beckham talks about being a photographic muse - and of what's it's been like, living his life in front of a camera-lens. Singer-songwriter Graham Nash found fame with The Hollies and then with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. He's just published his memoirs and reflects on his upbringing in Salford and how his childhood was affected by his father's prison sentence. He also describes the unique harmonies created through his friendship with David Crosby and Stephen Stills - and his thorny relationship with Neil Young. Guitarist Brian May, founder member of Queen, also has a life-long passion for Diableries, 19th century French cards with 3D views of the underworld printed on them. He and fellow-enthusiast Denis Pellerin explain how these gothic images became hugely popular, and how Brian developed a modern day stereoscope in order to view them. A new dramatisation of Dracula arrives on TV for Halloween, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. This version sees the count posing as an American industrialist who arrives in England claiming he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life, centuries earlier. Antonia Quirke reviews. Producer Rebecca Nicholson.
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With Mark Lawson. Joan Collins on her new memoir, picking the wrong husbands, not giving away her age, and why she wasn't the first choice for the now iconic role of Alexis Colby in Dynasty. The first major UK exhibition of 17th Century artist Giovanni Castiglione is opening this week at Buckingham Palace. Castiglione led a turbulent and violent life, but he was an innovative artist who invented the technique of monotype which is still used by artists such as Tracey Emin, whose works can be seen alongside Castiglione in Gifted: From the Royal Academy to The Queen. The work of crime writer Ian Rankin and the late Irish musician Rory Gallagher is paired up on a new concept compilation album - which features a story inspired by music which was in turn inspired by crime fiction. Ian Rankin and Rory's brother, Donal discuss the project with Mark. Indie film Drinking Buddies explores the relationship between two brewery co-workers who seem perfect for each other - except they're both in relationships with other people. All the dialogue is improvised. Rosie Swash reviews.
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With Mark Lawson, Susan Stroman, the American theatre director and choreographer whose productions include the multi-award winning The Producers, talks about her new musical, The Scottsboro Boys. With music and lyrics by Kander and Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago), The Scottsboro Boys is based on the true story of a group of black teenagers in Alabama wrongly accused of rape, whose case became a milestone in the history of US civil rights. Short Term 12 is a drama set in a foster home for at-risk teenagers, written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (I Am Not a Hipster). Shown from the perspective of a care supervisor played by Brie Larson, the film explores the complex, dark and sometimes humorous life of those working and living within the care system. Film critic Catherine Bray reviews. Comedian Ross Noble turns TV host this week with a show called Freewheeling, in which he follows invitations he receives on Twitter - whether it's a chance to arrive unannounced at a sales conference, or to meet a man who has a large quantity of custard. He reflects on the spontaneity which this approach allows, and also reveals his views on the less spontaneous TV panel shows. Producer Claire Bartleet.
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With Mark Lawson. Sandra Bullock, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2010, is now tipped for Oscar success again for her role in Gravity, in which she plays a medical engineer lost in space. She considers the demands of the part, which involves relatively little dialogue and the illusion of weightlessness. Few musicians experience the success enjoyed by Leonard Bernstein, acclaimed as a charismatic conductor as well as a composer whose work includes West Side Story. Now a 600 page collection of his letters offers a chance to re-assess his life, as revealed in correspondence with family members, numerous high-profile fellow musicians and cultural figures. Nicholas Kenyon, managing director of the Barbican Centre, London, gives his verdict. Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall star in a new Broadway production of Harold Pinter's play Betrayal - the latest staging of a work which has received several high-profile revivals since its premiere in 1978. Theatre critic Dominic Maxwell reflects on Betrayal's popularity, and discusses the plays and musicals which have enjoyed the most new productions in recent years. Film-maker Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather trilogy, has described his position now as 'like a retired businessman - but rather than play golf, I've decided to make art films instead.' As Coppola's latest film goes straight to DVD in the UK, Andrew Collins looks at the artists who have chosen to retire - but then can't resist a come-back. Producer Timothy Prosser.
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With Kirsty Lang Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir Eat, Pray, Love spent nearly 200 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list and was made into a film starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. Elizabeth talks to Kirsty about returning to fiction for her new book The Signature of All Things, a story which spans the 18th and 19th centuries and sees its heroine, botanist Alma Whittaker, travel from Philadelphia to Tahiti and Amsterdam in search of answers, adventure, and love. James Corden stars as Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts in the biopic One Chance. The film also stars Julie Walters as his mother Yvonne and is directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada, Marley & Me). Larushka Ivan-Zadeh went to find out whether it matters that James Corden had to lip-sync to Paul's vocals. Robert Webb and Tamzin Outhwaite star in Raving, a new play about competitive parenting and middle class status anxiety by Simon Paisley Day. Critic Viv Groskop delivers her verdict. This week Qatar's Sheikha Al-Mayassa was deemed to be the most powerful person in the art world, topping The ArtReview Power 100 list. The sheikha and her family are estimated to spend more than £600 million per year on art. But do the tastes of the big art buyers influence what kind of art is produced? Art market watcher Sarah Thornton reflects on the impact of the new international tastemakers. Produced by Ella-mai Robey.
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With Kirsty Lang. From Here To Eternity is given the musical treatment by Sir Tim Rice, the lyricist who gave us Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, with Pop Idol contestant Darius Campbell in the role of Sergeant Milt Warden, memorably played by Burt Lancaster in the film adaptation. Critic Jason Solomons delivers his verdict. Earth, Wind And Fire, the American group behind hits September, Let's Groove and Boogie Wonderland in the late '70s, have just released their first studio album in eight years. Verdine White, Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson, the three core members of the group - its founder Maurice White is no longer performing as a result of Parkinson's Disease - discuss the legacy of those early hits and the renewal of interest in their music following the success of Daft Punk. Artist Maggi Hambling and Tim Marlow pay tribute to the sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, whose death at the age of 89 was announced today. The V And A's new exhibition of Chinese painting promises to be "the most ambitious survey of one of the world's greatest artistic traditions". It covers 11 centuries and features an expansive collection ranging from scrolls which measure over 14 metres long, to intimate and poetic fan paintings. To find out whether the exhibition lives up to expectations, Chinese born artist Aowen Jin went to take a look. Producer Stephen Hughes.
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With Mark Lawson. Dame Judi Dench discusses her role in the new film Philomena, in which she plays a 70-year-old Irish woman who is looking to trace her son, taken away from her when she was a teenager. She discusses portraying and meeting the real Philomena Lee, and working with Steve Coogan, who co-scripted and co-stars in the film as Martin Sixsmith, the man who helped Philomena find her child. Honoré Daumier was a French printmaker, sculptor and painter whose work offered a social commentary on 19th Century French life. A new exhibition, Visions of Paris, explores his legacy. Booker Prize-winning novelist Julian Barnes reviews the show. Henrik Ibsen's play Ghosts is enjoying two very different new productions at the moment. In English Touring Theatre's staging, the sets take inspiration from designs originally made for the play by Edvard Munch in 1906. In Richard Eyre's new version, at the Almeida Theatre, London, the transparent walls of the set provide a stark contrast to the secrets hidden by the characters. Tim Hatley who designed the Almeida's production and Sue Prideaux, Munch's biographer, discuss the different approaches to representing the text. Peep Show stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb reunite in Ambassadors, a TV comedy-drama series about the inner-workings of an embassy in the fictional country of Tazbekistan. Briony Hanson of the British Council delivers her verdict. Producer Jerome Weatherald.
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Mark Lawson presents a special programme from Derry~Londonderry, UK City of Culture 2013. This year's Turner Prize for contemporary art is on show in Derry~Londonderry and features artists Tino Sehgal, Laure Prouvost, David Shrigley and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. David Shrigley and Laure Prouvost discuss their work and critic Philip Hensher delivers his verdict on the show. Derry-based writer Jennifer Johnston was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for her novel Shadows on Our Skin. Her Three Monologues, in response to The Troubles, are being performed as part of the City of Culture celebrations and her new novel A Sixpenny Song is published this month. She discusses the impact of the 2013 celebrations on the atmosphere in the city. Gerald Barry's comic opera The Importance of Being Earnest is being performed in Derry this week and then in Belfast, Cork and Dublin later in the year. He explains how he went about filleting Oscar Wilde's text and why Lady Bracknell was always going to be cast as a basso profondo. The inaugural City of Derry International Choral Festival is being hosted by local chamber choir Codetta. The festival's artistic director Dónal Doherty and soprano Laura Sheerin discuss how it feels to be taking part. Producer Ellie Bury.
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With Mark Lawson. Writer Susan Hill is now probably best known for her ghost story The Woman in Black, which became a long-running play and a major film. Her new novel Black Sheep is set in a mining village, and like many of her books, it's full of emotional claustrophobia, isolated characters and set at an unspecified time in the 20th century. She reflects on her long career and her approach to fiction. The Corrupted, a major new Radio 4 drama series, plots the course of one family against the backdrop of a revolution in crime, as the underworld extends its influence to the very heart of the establishment. Mark talks to its creator G F Newman, the award-winning writer of Judge John Deed and Law And Order. Pop Art Design is the first major exhibition in this country to examine the relationship between artists such as Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton and Roy Lichtenstein and the world of commercial design - from posters to album sleeves to architecture. Critic William Feaver delivers his verdict. Producer Dymphna Flynn.
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With John Wilson. Following in the footsteps of Homer's Odyssey, Morrissey's Autobiography has been published as a Penguin Classic. The singer takes readers through his childhood in Manchester, The Smiths' success and subsequent court battles, insights into personal relationships - and unexpected stories, including an invitation to appear in Friends. Philip Hoare, a winner of The Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, reviews. Director Clio Barnard, who won acclaim for The Arbor, her portrait of the Bradford writer Andrea Dunbar, talks to John about her new film The Selfish Giant, loosely based on a story by Oscar Wilde, which now focuses on two boys lured into the world of scrap metal. Nelson, Navy, Nation is a new permanent gallery at the National Maritime Museum. Opening on Trafalgar Day (21 October) it looks at how the Royal Navy shaped individual lives and the course of British history in the 18th century - a period when sea-faring heroes were national celebrities. Naval historian Dr Sam Willis reviews. Tonight's edition of Glee is a tribute to actor Cory Monteith, who died earlier this year and who played the central role of Finn Hudson in the series. Boyd Hilton, TV editor of Heat magazine, discusses how programme-makers deal with unexpected tragedies or cast-absences in long running series. Producer Rebecca Nicholson.
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With Mark Lawson. The film Prince Avalanche is a tale of two men (played by Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch) who, as they spend a summer painting the traffic markings on a country highway, share a journey of self-discovery. Novelist M J Hyland reviews. Mark visits a Luton primary school, as the children get to see a Frank Auerbach painting, on loan for the day. The work came from the Ben Uri Gallery as part of the Masterpieces in Schools programme, a partnership between the Public Catalogue Foundation and BBC Learning. Mark joins the children as they prepare to see a masterpiece first-hand, many of them for the very first time, and hears their thoughts about Auerbach's Mornington Crescent, Summer Morning II. Michael Blakemore joined the National Theatre as an Associate Director in 1971 under the leadership of Sir Laurence Olivier. His memoir Stage Blood tells the story of his time at the theatre and reveals the reasons behind his dramatic exit in 1976 after speaking out against Peter Hall's leadership. He reflects on why now was the right time to tell his story. Producer Claire Bartleet.
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With John Wilson. Sir Paul McCartney talks about his latest album (called New), he sets the record straight regarding his relationship with John Lennon, and admits that he finds it difficult to say "I love you". The legend of a lost city of gold in South America captivated Europeans for centuries. A new exhibition at the British Museum unravels the myth of El Dorado - it was a man, not a city, and "The Golden One" was covered in powdered gold as part of a ritual. Rachel Campbell-Johnston reviews. War photojournalist Tim Hetherington was killed covering the Libyan conflict in 2011. He'd been Oscar-nominated earlier that year along with his co-director and friend Sebastian Junger. Now Sebastian has made a moving documentary-portrait of his colleague. He talks to John about Tim's courage, his distinctive approach to photography and the effect Tim's death has had on his work. Producer Timothy Prosser.