Hall extends BBC quarantine arts coverage as successor named

BBC director-general Tony Hall has extended the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine programme with a range of musical performances in one of his last moves before standing down.

It was announced today that he is to be succeeded on September 1 by Tim Davie, currently the head to the broadcaster’s marketing arm, BBC Studios.

The extra cultural output on television and radio will start this month with the first live performances from the Royal Opera House, which Hall ran before returning to the BBC in 2013, since the pandemic lockdown, and there will be performances broadcast over the summer from other opera houses forced to cancel because of Covid-19.

“The pandemic has had a severe impact on the UK’s creative industries, which prior to lockdown were worth £100bn per year” he said. “The BBC wants to do all it can to bring British creativity to the widest possible audience. That’s why we are working with cultural organisations and artists to make that happen.”

Since the introduction of Culture in Quarantine its successes have included a 500% increase in audiences participating in Life Drawing Live and over half a million tuning in to programmes on museums that were closed to the public during lockdown. In the next phase music programmed within social distancing guidelines will feature, followed in September by new collaborations, a release of archive classical music content following the BBC Proms and the beginning of a new Civilisations-style series.

The next phase of the programme will see increasingly ambitious music programming within the social distancing guidelines. And then in September the corporation will build on collaborations in the cultural sector established over the lockdown period by releasing a wealth of archive classical music content. Work will also start on a major new Civilisations-style series focussing on British creativity.

“Upcoming programming will see a deeper evolution of previous Culture in Quarantine collaborations and partnerships” Hall said “including utterly unique projects focused on museums and galleries, a specially curated release of classical music archive from the BBC Orchestras and  Choirs, the performing arts, and the world of books and poetry as well as more specially staged classical concerts working with venues across the UK. We will also start production on our next big landmark for 2021,  our follow-up to Civilisations if you like, which will be a seven-part history of art series focussing on British creativity and how arts and culture have helped to define what we understand to be British.”

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