BBC Radio 4 extends Front Row and creates new arts shows

BBC Radio 4’s live arts programme Front Row is to be extended to 45 minutes and three new shows are being introduced.

A new film show, Screenshot, co-hosted by Ellen E Jones and Mark Kermode, will take listeners on a fresh journey through film and screen culture.

A new music programme, Add To Playlist, co-hosted by Cerys Matthews and Jeffrey Boakye, will explore music through surprising connections between songs and artists.

And This Cultural Life, hosted by John Wilson, will feature in-depth interviews with the most important arts practitioners working today – from new talent to global icons.

Also from this autumn, Front Row will air from Monday to Thursday at an extended running time of 45 minutes (from 30 minutes) with two regular presenters, Samira Ahmed and Tom Sutcliffe.

The reinvigorated magazine programme will feature more regional coverage showcasing what’s happening in arts and culture across the UK.

Mohit Bakaya, Controller Radio 4, says: “The Arts matter. At all times, but especially during periods of uncertainty and change, culture provides an important lens that helps deepen our understanding of the world around us. However, the way we are consuming and experiencing the arts and culture is evolving.

“I’d like our arts programming to be even more ambitious, and intellectually curious. The new film and music shows will explore our evolving relationship with these two important genres as a result of the changing digital landscape, and the wonderful opportunities for discovery, as well as making fascinating new connections between past and present.

“The expanded Front Row will keep listeners across the most important cultural activity in the UK. There will be more space for coverage and review of contemporary film releases, especially, but also a more thorough exploration of the worlds of performance art, the visual arts and literature. Finally, This Cultural Life will do for the arts what the Life Scientific has done for science – giving us deep insights into what makes our leading creative minds tick.”

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