It was great to see Melvyn Bragg and The South Bank Show return last night (Sunday, Sky Arts) and to find both in great shape.
The opening episode of what is hopefully the first of many series of the revived series was a great exploration of the National Theatre’s Nicholas Hytner.
It’s always enjoyable to see someone talking about their passions and Bragg remains an excellent interviewer, always teasing a little more from his subject without allowing his own knowledge to overshadow them or patronise the audience.
Bragg and Sky Arts deserve a loud round of applause for reviving the series after ITV’s still baffling decision to axe one of its last crown jewels.
As a youth I used to enjoy watching The South Bank Show on my little black & white portable, it provided a glimpse into the world of arts which rarely penetrated 1980’s South East London.
What a tragedy that the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster would deny that education to current and future generations while persisting with the likes of ‘I’m a celebrity…’.