The South Bank Show returns for Season 12, in which Melvyn Bragg interviews three key figures in the UK arts scene
The South Bank Show is a British arts television series that originally aired on ITV from 1978 to 2010.
In 2012, Sky picked up the series, received a new format and will be broadcast on Sky Arts.
Fellow Labor broadcaster and presenter Melvyn Bragg has hosted the show since it launched on ITV and has continued to do so for the Sky version.
The show aims to bring both high art and pop culture to a wide audience.
In each episode, Bragg interviews a major figure who was influential in an area of the British arts scene.
Who are the interviewees?
Skinner, the first interviewee for the new series, is an actor, comedian, presenter and author who has contributed extensively to the arts in Britain.
He is probably best known for hosting the comedy show Fantasy Football League with David Baddiel from 1994 to 2004.
Skinner and Baddiel have worked together several times in their careers, collaborating on the talk show Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned in the early 2000s and releasing the timeless football song Three Lions with The Lightning Seeds in 1996.
Separately, Skinner hosted The Frank Skinner Show from 1995 to 2005 and Room 101 from 2012 to 2018.
In 2015, he took part in the first season of the celebrity challenge show Taskmaster, finishing tied with Romesh Ranganathan behind Josh Widdicome.
Award-winning actress Helen Mirren will also join Bragg to discuss her career in the film industry.
Mirren is the only actress to have won a Triple Crown of Acting in both the UK and US – meaning she has won an Oscar, Bafta, Tony, Laurence Olivier, Emmy and a Bafta TV award.
She began acting on stage in the 1960s and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1965.
She got her big break with her film role as Victoria in the gangster film Long Good Friday and since then she has acted in many popular films.
Her films include Hitchcock, Trumbo, RED, Gosford Park and appearances in several installments of the Fast and Furious franchise as Queenie.
But it was in her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen that Mirren won her first and only Oscar to date. She also won a Bafta for the role.
Acosta is a Cuban-British retired ballet director and dancer – he was born in Havana in 1973 and grew up in poverty.
Acosta’s father sent him to dance practice to teach him discipline and because he would be guaranteed a free lunch every day at school.
Acosta was a member of the National Ballet of Cuba from 1992 to 1993 and was involved in productions such as Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Giselle.
In 1998 he joined the London Royal Ballet and in 2020 became Director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Acosta has won several dance awards throughout his career, including the Osimodanza Prize and the Prix Benois de la Danse. In 2014 he received a CBE for services to ballet.
When is the South Bank Show on TV?
The South Bank Show airs Wednesday 20 July at 10pm on Sky Arts. Future episodes will air weekly at the same time.