BBC Arts has announced a roster of programmes that celebrate the nation’s love of the arts, and will see Reggie Yates explore the revolutionary changes in television and Hollywood.
The BBC Two documentary will be joined by a host of specialist programmes that range from the artistry of dance to new series The Novels That Shaped Our World (w/t), which will mark the 300th anniversary of Robinson Crusoe and the origins behind the British novel.
“This year we’ll be giving you a front-row seat to the best in arts and culture from celebrating the novel and the art of poetry with landmark programing, to encouraging participation in the arts with the return of Get Creative,” said Jonty Claypole, Director of Arts at BBC.
“There is something for everyone with a passion for arts and culture.”
TV’s Black Renaissance: Reggie Yates in Hollywood
RTS award-winner Reggie Yates jets off to Los Angeles to investigate the emergence of black talent across the TV industry.
Yates will meet with the pioneers behind the diversity boom and will reflect on the success of programmes with primarily Africa-American casts, including Atlanta, Insecure and Dear White People.
The one-off documentary will analyse how the programmes address identity and race in Trump’s America, with the presenter reflecting on his own experiences of working behind and in front of the camera.
Yates interviews some of the great talent in the industry, including award-winning actor Mahershala Ali (True Detective), Caleb Mclaughlin (Stranger Things) as well as showrunners and writers Justin Simien (Dear White People) and Lena Waithe (Master of None and The Chi).
The Importance of Being Oscar
A unique exploration of the career of acclaimed poet and playwright Oscar Wilde.
The documentary will hear from Stephen Fry and Wilde’s own grandson Merlin Holland about the writer’s work and the poet’s time in court for gross indecency after his homosexual affair with the son of the Marquess of Queensberry was revealed.
The Importance of Being Oscar will showcase adaptations of some of Wilde’s most popular stories including The Canterville Ghost, Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest.
Others taking part in the programme include Claire Skinner (Outnumbered), Freddie Fox (Watership Down), Anna Chancellor (Ordeal by Innocence) and James Fleet (Unforgotten).
Me, My Selfie and I with Ryan Gander
Conceptual artist Ryan Gander investigates the history behind the iconic selfie.
Going back hundreds of years before cameras on phones, Gander explores the wider meaning behind selfies and questions the impact of technology on our perception of self.
Jim Moir (otherwise known as Vic Reeves) will take part in an immersive experiment that aims at recreating what life was like at the famous German art school, Bauhaus.
The comedian will collaborate with leading designers, contemporary artists, recent graduates and former students from Central Saint Martins to bring together a Bauhaus takeover.
Bauhaus Rules is among a season of BBC Four shows celebrating the centenary of Bauhaus, including BAUHAUS 100 and Anni Albers: A Life in Thread.
Windrush: Movement of the People
Accompanying Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle, this contemporary dance piece celebrates the SS Empire Windrush’s arrival in Britain.
For the first time, the joint history of the immigrants hopes, dreams and pain will be told through the medium of dance.
Windrush: Movement of the People will be performed by the Phoenix Dance Theatre.
Emma Cahusac, the dance commissioner for BBC Arts and an executive producer on the show, was recently interviewed about the rise of dance formats in January’s RTS Television Magazine.
Other documentaries announced include Looking for Rembrandt, The Novels That Shaped Our World (w/t) and imagine… Jo Brand: No Holds Barred.