Maxine Peake on why the arts are a vital and much-needed release for everyone

The Arts are a vital and much-needed release for everyone. Whether it is through a creation of your own or responding to someone else’s. As humans we have always had a need to tell stories. It is essential to our being and that can encompass any art form. We must all fight to keep them and fight to keep them for all.


Video Update: Watch ‘ArtsNight’ with Maxine Peake

Video Update: Watch ‘ArtsNight’ with Maxine Peake

I’ve added a copy of the first episode of BBC’s ‘ArtsNight‘ show that aired last week for those of you who missed it or want to watch it again… 🙂

Enjoy the episode:

Many thanks to my friend Rich who runs Kathryn Morris UK for his help!

Programme Website for Artsnight & new Promo Photo

Acclaimed actor Maxine Peake (Silk, The Village, The Theory of Everything) takes over editorial control, ‘curating’ the opening episode of this exciting new arts series.

Celebrating voices marginalised by mainstream culture, Maxine talks to the most controversial band in Britain, the Sleaford Mods; she discusses the role of women and television with an all-female panel, including W1A’s Jessica Hynes; and she explores the life and legacy of Salford’s Shelagh Delaney, the writer who helped inspire Coronation Street and the Smiths.


The episode airs this Friday at 11pm on BBC Two! Don’t miss it 🙂

Artsnight 1/4 – to premiere on Friday 6th March on BBC Two at 11pm

Artsnight 1/4 – to premiere on Friday 6th March on BBC Two at 11pm

Coming a year after The Review Show was put out to grass, this new weekly magazine show is clearly part of director-general Tony Hall’s bid to “put arts centre stage at the BBC”. Taking a topical look at arts and culture in the UK, each programme is curated by a different guest editor who, presumably, will bring their own opinions, interests and tastes to the subject matter. First in the hot seat is actress Maxine Peake, who received critical acclaim for her recent gender-bending version of Hamlet.

The Thick of It’s Armando Iannucci, Sunday Times journalist Lynn Barber and director of Tate Modern Chris Dercon are scheduled to present future shows.

About this programme

1/4. New series. Actress Maxine Peake celebrates voices marginalised by mainstream culture as she curates the opening episode of this arts programme. She talks to Nottingham-based electropunk duo Sleaford Mods, discusses the role of women in television with an all-female panel including actress Jessica Hynes, and explores the life and legacy of Salford playwright and screenwriter Shelagh Delaney.

Cast and crew


Presenter: Maxine Peake
Guest: Sleaford Mods
Contributor: Jessica Hynes


Director: Clare Tavernor
Series Editor: Janet Lee


Maxine Peake to guest edit a new BBC arts show as channel tries to regenerate cultural content

The show will start in March and also feature The Thick Of It’s Armando Iannucci as a guest edtior

Maxine Peake will guest edit an episode of a new BBC arts programme which will start in the spring, a year after the channel abandoned The Review Show.

The four-part series, Artsnight, will air every Friday in March, immediately after Newsnight.

The 30 minute art and culture magazine show will be a topical look at arts in the UK.

Other guest editors, who each be involved with an episode, are Armando Iannucci, Sunday Times journalist Lynn Barber and Director of Tate Modern Chris Dercon.

The show is part of the Beeb’s renewed efforts to bring the arts back to the forefront of their programming after scaling back on a lot of their coverage.

The push has come under new director general Tony Hall.

He said: “I want to put arts centre stage at the BBC. I strongly believe that arts should be for everyone with more primetime arts content on the BBC.”

Maxine Peake, from Westhoughton, Bolton, received great critical acclaim last year when she took on the role of Hamlet at Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre which was the theatre’s fastest selling show in a decade.


BBC to demonstrate renewed commitment to prime time Arts programming and partnerships

BBC to unveil bigger commitment to arts in prime time, with a raft of Saturday night arts specials on BBC Two and new seasons on theatre, poetry and cinema

New shows to include a new topical arts series on BBC Two, with guest editors including Maxine Peake, Sunday Times journalist Lynn Barber, Armando Iannucci, and Director of Tate Modern, Chris Dercon; and Artists Question Time on BBC Four

This spring also sees new topical arts programming across both BBC Two and BBC Four. Actress Maxine Peake, Sunday Times journalist Lynn Barber, Armando Iannucci, and Director of Tate Modern, Chris Dercon will each guest edit a new four-part series, Artsnight – a brand new weekly 30 minute arts and culture magazine show, made by BBC Arts – to be aired on BBC Two following Newsnight every Friday in March. Whilst BBC Four is tackling head-on the thorny questions surrounding creativity in the UK today in Artists Question Time (1×60). Presented Kirsty Wark, the series opens with a vital debate on who the Arts are for in the UK, who gets to play a part in the them and how should they be funded in times of recession.


Maxine Peake leads performers’ call for end to arts cuts

Maxine Peake is among a group of actors, musicians and artists calling for tougher action against government cuts to public services, which would see arts funding return to pre-2010 levels.

In a letter published in The Guardian, the newly formed Artists’ Assembly Against Austerity called for people involved in the creative arts to “mobilise against cuts in public and voluntary services introduced by the current government”.

They called for no more cuts to the cultural and heritage sectors.

The alliance is made up of 200 creative artists and is an extension of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, which was formed in 2013.

It was launched as a response to the need to initiate a specific assembly for artists, who “have as much to lose as many other groups as a result of the dwindling public sector”.

The group’s demands centre on four issues set out in the letter, which include ensuring “equal access to arts education by scrapping student fees and ending cuts to creative subjects in schools and universities”, and investing in the arts to generate a “significant cash benefit to the tax payer”.

The letter called for “no more cuts to the cultural and heritage sectors and reinstatement of arts funding to pre-2010 levels, appropriately adjusted to inflation”.

The demands also include the continuation of free healthcare and capped rents to provide affordable homes and studios.

Other artists and performers to sign the letter include authors Blake Morrison and China Mieville, singer Grace Petrie and artist Peter Kennard, while performance artist and comedian Bryony Kimmings and filmmaker Amir Amirani are among those to have signed the group’s online petition.

Read the letter in full here.