Mary Beard to front Front Row

The classics professor Mary Beard is to anchor the revamped television version of the arts review magazine Front Row when it returns in the spring.

For an initial six weeks, she will be the only main presenter and the show will have a fixed slot at 11pm on Friday after Newsnight, where the long running Late Review ran for 20 years before it was axed  in 2014.

The three presenters from the first series of the television version of the Radio 4 programme, Giles Coren, Amol Rajan and Nikki Bedi, have all left the show.

The revamp follows a switch-back course for arts reporting on television. The Culture Show had a mixed reception and was moved around the schedules until it closed in 2015, and when Radio 4 announced the end of Saturday Review an outcry forced a u-turn and it was reprieved.

When the TV version of Front Row was announced there was also criticism that one of the experienced and familiar voices from the Radio 4 version would make the switch, but that three presenters not associated with arts had been chosen.

Mary Beard is also to front a forthcoming new cultural series, Civilisations.

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