The South Bank Show is a television arts magazine show, made by London Weekend Television. Presented by Melvyn Bragg, it was broadcast on ITV from 1978 until 2010 when it was cancelled and has since been revived by Sky Arts in 2012. Seen in over 60 countries worldwide including Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA, its stated aim is to bring both high art and popular culture to a mass audience.
A look at the 18 year career of a band who, until their latest album The Seldom Seen Kid, were considered a well-kept secret. Now with a host of prizes and awards, Elbow are the music story of 2009. Melvyn Bragg interviews lead singer Guy Garvey, while keyboardist Craig Potter talks about the band's evolution musically and his other role as producer. Including exclusive footage of Elbow at their MEN arena gig in Manchester, and archive footage of the band when they were teenagers in Bury.
CAROL ANN DUFFY is Britain's best-loved and biggest-selling living poet. In May of this year she was appointed Poet Laureate and shortly afterwards agreed to take part in a profile of her life and work for THE SOUTH BANK SHOW. The resulting film is centred around a major interview with MELVYN BRAGG, in which CAROL ANN DUFFY discusses her work for both adults and children, and her appointment as Laureate. THE SOUTH BANK SHOW accompanies CAROL ANN DUFFY to Wales, where she teaches and mentors students at the Ty Newydd poetry masterclass. The film follows her to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where she performs a show for children alongside her own daughter Ella. She also reads some of her work for adults to a sold out audience on the main stage at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. THE SOUTH BANK SHOW joins CAROL ANN DUFFY in Orta, Italy, where she attends the famous Poetry on the Lake festival alongside fellow poets and enthusiasts from around the world. Throughout the film, CAROL ANN DUFFY reads extensively from her significant body of work. In addition, THE SOUTH BANK SHOW has filmed dramatisations of two of her character-led monologues, featuring the actors RUSSELL TOVEY (Being Human, Little Dorrit, The History Boys) in Education for Leisure; and JEMIMA ROOPER (Lost in Austen, As If) in Warming her Pearls. This film provides a fascinating insight into the working life of a very modern vocational poet.
The final South Bank Show goes behind the scenes of The Royal Shakespeare Company, as it embarks on an ambitious and exciting new programme of work inspired by Russia and the ex-Soviet Union.
Melvyn Bragg presents the final South Bank Show Awards in front of a star-studded audience at The Dorchester in London. These unique awards celebrate the best of British talent across the arts including classical music, comedy, dance, literature, film, pop, TV drama and theatre. The event includes a world exclusive premiere, the first public performance of the title song from Andrew Lloyd Webber's long anticipated new show Love Never Dies, sung by its star Sierra Boggess.