Arts Hour, The

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2013070620130707 (WS)
20130708 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

20131222

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

20140706

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

20140720

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

20140810

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

20140817

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

20140824

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

20140907

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

20140914

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

20140921
20141019
2014110120141103 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

01/02/201420140202

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

01/06/20132013060220130603 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

02/11/201320131103
03/05/201420140504

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

03/08/20132013080420130805 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

04/01/201420140105

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

05/04/201420140406

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

05/10/20132013100620131007 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

07/09/201320130908
07/12/201320131208
08/06/20132013060920130610 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

09/11/201320131110
10/05/201420140511

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

10/08/20132013081120130812 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

11/01/201420140112

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

11/05/20132013051220130513 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

12/04/201420140413

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

13/07/20132013071420130715 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

14/06/201420140615

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

14/12/201320131215
15/06/20132013061620130617 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

16/11/201320131117
18/01/201420140119

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

18/05/20132013051920130520 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

19/04/201420140420

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

20/07/20132013072120130722 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

21/06/201420140622

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

22/02/201420140223

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

22/03/201420140323

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

23/11/201320131124
25/01/201420140126

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

25/05/20132013052620130527 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

26/04/201420140427

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

26/10/201320131027
27/04/20132013042820130429 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

27/07/20132013072820130729 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

28/06/201420140629

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

28/09/20132013092920130930 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

29/03/201420140330

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

29/06/20132013063020130701 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

30/11/201320131201
€house” Star Hugh Laurie2013063020130701 (WS)

“They would pour head pepper to my head and stick it there” Hugh Laurie in House

Join Nikki Bedi for an interview with “House” star-turned musician Hugh Laurie; actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy talking about their new film ‘Before Midnight’; we explore the North Korean art factory supplying public artworks to Africa; meet the unsung legend of disco music Giorgio Moroder - who tells us how he set out to create the sound of the future in the 1970s; we also tour the great Parisian bookshop Shakespeare and Company and hear from the director of a new Chinese-migrants to Venice themed movie “Shun Li and The Poet”.

Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images

Amy Tan20131117

on the tricky business of putting sex in her novels for the first time and zombie director George A Romero says the undead ain't what they used to be. White Teeth writer Zadie Smith explains why she likes messing around with the form of the novel and singer Gary Barlow says that life after Take That made him so fat that people didn't recognise him. South African jazz legend Hugh Masakela gets his trumpet out and plays live in the studio with an old friend, why Eastern Cape singer Simphiwe Dana dislikes the term 'world music' and a quick lesson in verse composition from poet Paul Muldoon.

Angelina Jolie, Alfred Brendel, Alice Walker20140608

Nikki Bedi shares the best in music, literature, film and the performing arts from the BBC and beyond.

This week Angelina Jolie discusses playing a villainess in Disney’s new dark fairy tale Maleficent. Alfred Brendel talks about forsaking the piano to write poetry. Alice Walker explains why poetry is medicine in conversation at the Sydney Writers Festival. Spoken word poet Kate Tempest performs at Britain’s leading literary festival in Hay. The Nigerian artist Victor Ehikhamenor considers the three dimensional possibilities of canvas. We find out how a South American insect helped create the sumptuous look of the Italian Renaissance. Fifi Haroon reports on what’s new in the arts from Pakistan and we hear about the rise of an independent music scene in India.

Photo: Angelina Jolie, Alfred Brendel (c) Michael Latz/Getty, Alice Walker (c) Peter Kramer/Getty

Barkhad Abdi, Angel Haze, Isabella Rossellini20140216

"'I'm the captain now' - I improvised that" - Barkhad Abdi on his role in The Captain

Billy Zane: Movie Star (and Secret Painter)20131103

Billy Zane reveals that when the cameras stop rolling he rushes off to his makeshift art studio; writer Khaled Hosseini talks about the song by Afghan singer Ahmad Zahir that stopped him in his tracks as a child and still has the power to move him now; Throwing Muses singer Kristin Hersh gives an exclusive performance of a song from her band's new album and talks about her mental illness and how it affected her creativity; in his third Reith Lecture, artist Grayson Perry asks if art has finally lost its power to shock.

Photo: Kristin Hersh (C) Dina Douglas; Billy Zane (C) PA, Grayson Perry (C) BBC

"If I can't find canvas, I'll use a sail" Billy Zane on his approach towards art making.

Buffy Creator Joss Whedon Does Shakespeare2013062320130624 (WS)

'I have a serious mental problem - it's workaholism' - Joss Whedon

Canadian Poet And Novelist Margaret Atwood2013090120130902 (WS)

Canadian writer Margaret Atwood tells us how technology and creative writing can mix

Matt Damon considers ageism in Hollywood and his latest film Elysium; Ghanaian afrobeat superstar Atumpan performs his smash hit The Thing for us; Somalian writer Nadifa Mohamed draws on her family's war-torn history for her latest novel The Orchard of Lost Souls; we hear from the son of the recently deceased crime writer Elmore Leonard to discover his take on his father's famous 10 rules of writing. Hailed as one of the greatest auteur film makers Wong Kar War drops by to talk about his latest film The Grandmaster about the 20th Century Kung Fu maestro who famously trained Bruce Lee.

Director John Waters20131110

, veteran film-maker behind kitch titles like Hairspray and Pink Flamingos discusses Catholicism, making sexploitation movies for art theatres and hitch-hiking across America.

We travel to Sweden to uncover why the country’s songwriters seemingly own the UK and US pop charts – they are behind the biggest hits of Britney, Bieber, Clarkson and Gaga.

Plus, we take a look at art and music created from mosquito wings.

And, in the last of his four Reith Lectures, recorded in front of an audience at Central St Martins School of Art in London, Grayson Perry discusses his life in the art world - the journey from the unconscious child playing with paint, to the award-winning artist of today. Perry looks back and asks why men and women throughout history, despite the many privations they suffered, always made art. And he discusses the central purpose of creating art - to heal psychological wounds and to make meaning.

Photos: John Waters, Grayson Perry(BBC Publicity)

Dolly Parton, Placido Domingo, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi20140622

Dolly Parton describes the journey from a Tennessee mountain shack to becoming Queen of Nashville. Placido Domingo discusses conducting Tosca instead of singing it. Dasha Lisitsina reports on the Moscow Film Festival. There is an interview with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, the winner of this year’s Commonwealth Short Story writers’ prize, ballerina Tamara Rojo explores the animalistic side of dance, and American-Iranian author Porochista Khakpou explains that her latest novel about a feral child is based on the 10th Century Persian epic The Shahnameh. We journey to a remote village in Uganda to hear the gourd trumpets which have been preserved by Unesco and the Flamenco superstar Paco Peña talks about the electric effect of marrying Flamenco with Christianity.

(Photo:Dolly Parton (c) Rick Diamond, Placido Domingo (c) Monika Fellner, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi)

Elton John2013100620131007 (WS)

- 'Why I’m going to perform in Russia, despite the anti-gay laws.'

on his new album, the influence of Liberace and why, despite President Putin’s new anti-gay laws, he still intends to perform in Russia. Also on the programme, director Mike Nichols explains why adultery need not always be a source of guilt for the people involved. Singer and songwriter Smokey Robinson remembers the dark side of Marvin Gaye. Actor Adil Ray, writer and star of the BBC’s Citizen Khan, explains how the relationship between comedy and race has changed over the years. And, novelist Sathnam Sangera will be discussing his latest book Marriage Material. Plus, documentary maker Marc Weisse talks about his film Camp 14, which features the only known person who has escaped from a North Korean death camp.

Image of Elton John by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Image of Marvin Gaye

Image of Mike Nichols by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Film Director Ron Howard2013091520130916 (WS)

“None of these competitors were willing to back off a tenth of a second" Ron Howard

Gregory Porter20140302

The jazz singer songwriter Gregory Porter, who has just won a Grammy Award for his album Liquid Spirit, discusses the inspiration for his music, why he likes to compose on the move and reveals he used to fantasise his father was Nat King Cole.

A new Ethiopian film entitled Difret is based on the true story of the abduction of a 14 year old girl for marriage. Such abductions are part of the traditional practice of Telefa in which a man on horseback snatches up a girl and weds her. The film is based on the true story of the abduction of a 14 year old village girl for marriage. She went on to sue her captor back in 1996. Jenny Horrocks talks to the director Zeresenay Berhane Mehari and the producer Mehret Mandefro.

Cultural Critic Dasha Lisitsina explores the concept of Estrada - the surprisingly camp aesthetic of popular Russian TV shows. We meet Marusya, a Cossack Act, formed by West Africans studying in Russia. They were favourites on Russia’s TV talent show Minute of Fame, wowing the audience but enraging real Cossacks.

The BBC’s Mark Kermode holds an alternative film award ceremony every year and nominates the actors, directors and writers who he believes were overlooked by the Oscar judges. He awards the Saudi Arabian Film Wajdja the prize for ‘Best Film in a Language Other Than English.

Wajdja is the first feature film ever to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and it’s directed by a woman. It tells the story of a girl, Wajdja, who dreams of owning a bicycle that so she can race against her friend Abdullah. But bicycling is frowned upon for girls and Wadjda’s mother refuses to buy one for her daughter. The director, Haifaa al-Mansour, explains how she got round the fact that women aren’t allowed to film on the streets of Saudi and tells us how her film helped to change the law so that women are allowed to ride bicycles.

Wu Ming is an Italian writers’ collective who perpetrate media hoaxes and pranks on a mission to expose lazy journalism and question the political establishment. Their book Q, written collectively, became an international bestseller. Lucy Ash went to meet them preparing for a performance in Turin in Italy.

The documentary "The Standbys," gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Broadway understudies who are rarely seen by audiences. The film’s director, Stephanie Riggs, spoke about it on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC radio in New York, along with Ben Crawford and Alena Watters, two standbys featured in the film.

Nick Grimshaw of BBC Radio 1 explores the world of online fans and how, with the help of digital technology and social media, they are now turning their fandom into a career.

The virtuoso flamenco jazz guitarist Eduardo Niebla together with the classical guitarist Matthew Robinson play for the BBC’s Mary Ann Kennedy.

Photo shows: Gregory Porter (c) Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty, Verka Serduchka (c) Johannes Simon/Getty, Eduardo Niebla (c) Gary Longbottom

Gwyneth Paltrow2013050520130506 (WS)

Iron Man 3 star Gwynnie wants to know what Justin Bieber looks like in the steam room

Doors drummer John Densmore on being sued by his former bandmates; Afrobeat star Femi Kuti talks Twitter and Grand Theft Auto; best-selling author Harlan Coben praises the virtues of violence; writer David Sedaris enjoys writing offensive messages in his readers' books; legendary photographer Rene Burri remembers snapping Che Guevara in Cuba; veteran actor Terence Stamp wants the camera to be his girlfriend.

Half Of A Yellow Sun20140420

Writer-director Biyi Bandele speaks about his debut film, Half of a Yellow Sun, and his hopes for the Nigerian film industry.

Also on the programme: hip-hop legend Nas looks back at 1980s New York, the inspiration for his first album Illmatic; actress Edie Falco, star of Nurse Jackie, takes us back to her audition for the pilot episode of The Sopranos and Samoan singers Sol3 Mio show the Neapolitans how opera should be sung.

We turn the clock back 20 years to Four Weddings and a Funeral, a film that made close to $250 million dollars worldwide, but nearly didn't happen. We hear from some of the cast and the writer Mike Newell and director Richard Curtis. We learn about the importance of forgiveness from singer-songwriter Jean Paul Samputu, a survivor of the ethnic violence in Rwanda.

Writer Moira Buffini discusses her latest comedy Handbagged, which speculates on the kind of things the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said to the Queen during their weekly meetings. Actresses Marion Bailey and Stella Gonet discuss the motivation behind their performances. And ballet dancing brothers, Nathaniel and Joseph Skelton, discuss competing for roles at New Zealand's Royal Ballet company.

Photo shows: Chiwetel Ejiofor in Half of a Yellow Sun, Gasha, Jean Paul Samputu

Irvine Welsh20140518

Campaigning documentaries are back: we hear about new anti-sugar movie “Fed Up”. Irvine ‘Trainspotting’ Welsh talks about his new novel, there’s upcoming Ghanaian-British music star Kwabs, near new music from Senegal’s Les Freres Guisse, meet opera’s most in-demand couple Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello and uncover new theatre from South Africa and Asian-America.

Jessye Norman, Gilbert And George20140803

Opera legend Jessye Norman on what makes a diva, Gilbert and George discuss 50 years of making art 'for the people’ and Indian sarod superstar Amjad Ali Khan talks about losing his childhood to the discipline of classical music. Saul Williams, star of the Broadway musical Holler If Ya Hear Me, explores why the Tupac Shakur-inspired show flopped. Twenty years after the end of apartheid we ask what are the challenges for South African artists. We hear from Ugandan ‘news rappers’, we have a Poetry Postcard from the Pacific island of Tuvalu and musicians Dom Flemons and Martin Simpson explain how folk songs change shape as they travel between England and North America.

(Photo: Jessye Norman (c) Kris Connor/Getty, Gilbert and George (c) Carl Court/Getty)

Johnny Depp: "what Do I Care About Somebody's Critique"2013081820130819 (WS)

Johnny Depp defends his poorly-reviewed movie The Lone Ranger.

Johnny Depp defends his poorly-reviewed movie The Lone Ranger. Jessie J discusses having a stroke at the age of 18 and beating the school bullies. Angela Cheung is the Editor of Vogue China, she tells us she wnts to change the meaning of Made in China. Plus the live BBC concert mixing Hip Hop, Grime and symphony orchestra, Lizo’s celebrity news round-up and, from the archive, the BBC’s ‘South Africa Spits Back’ documentary. Also award-winning rockstar cinematographer Christopher Doyle, HKSC, talks about making words into images on a new art app ‘Away With Words’ and we’ve got a plethora of writers discussing the loneliness of writing.

Joseph O'neill, Leonard Cohen20141005

Indian classical musician Niladri Kumar was a prodigy, giving his first public sitar performance at the age of six - he performs in session. Joseph O’Neill is on President Obama’s book list and his new novel The Dog, explores slave-like labour conditions and high-finance in Dubai.

And, South African poet and rapper Tumi Molekane tell us how his new track, Signs, was inspired by watching a cockroach.

On the eve of a big concert in New York we talk to Hailu Mergia, a US cab driver who was a legendary 1970s musician and keyboardist from Ethiopia. Pawel Pawlowski discusses his new film Ida, a black and white meditation about postwar Polish identity and religion. Film critic Philip Bergson discusses the domestic success of Polish movies, and describes an unexpectedly flourishing Ukrainian film scene. Leonard Cohen, the gravel-voiced Canadian prince of pop music, discusses his new CD and the topic of how best to live with defeat.

(Photo: Joseph O'Neill, Leonard Cohen (c) Fabrice Coffrini)

Kanye West2013101320131014 (WS)

Kanye - 'I know how to make perfect'

gives a rare interview and declares that he is the number one rock star on the planet. Painter Frank Auerbach explores his monastic life in the studio and meditative approach to location and place.

Photo of Kanye West (c) Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty

Photo of Anoushka Shankar (c) Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty

Photo of Jung Chang (c) Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty

Kate Bush, Jean-pierre And Luc Dardenne20140831

"She's kind of an enigma" - Sir Elton John talking about Kate Bush

This week on The Arts Hour, Belgian film-makers, the Dardenne Brothers, talk about their latest film, Two Days One Night. Sir Elton John is among a host of musical names praising the extraordinary talent of singer songwriter Kate Bush, who performed again this week after more than 30 years out of the limelight. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra return to the BBC Proms with their co-founder Daniel Barenboim, performing a new commission Ramal by Syrian-born composer Kareem Roustom. Mad Men star John Hamm, who’s appearing in new film Million Dollar Arm, says he may swap Hollywood for Bollywood. We interview Linda Kennedy on the progress of stand-up comedy in China.

Alan Little travels back to Sarajevo, where twenty years ago, writer/director Susan Sontag staged Waiting for Godot, in the middle of a siege.

And we head to New York where billboards, bus shelters even video screens at gyms are all showing great American pieces of art like Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans. The scheme is called Art Everywhere but not everyone is happy. We also pay tribute to the veteran British actor and director Sir Richard Attenborough who died last week.

(Photo: Kate Bush, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (c) Valerie Macon/Getty)

Kelis20140316

American singer songwriter Kelis, famous for the overt sexuality of her youthful performances, explains how cooking has inspired her new album. Can pop and feminism ever go together? Radio 1's Gemma Cairney investigates. We hear some astounding poetry from a new generation of female poets from Africa and its diaspora. Felicity Finch, star of the British radio soap opera The Archers, travels to Ruanda and meets the actress who puts her terrifying childhood experiences in the genocide to positive use in the hugely popular Ruandan radio soap Urunana. Three years on from the 2011 Egyptian uprising, what’s happening to the arts? Eva Dadrian reports from Cairo. As this year's happy Oscar winners decide where to display their golden statuettes, we hear about the daredevil performers who will never get nominated because Hollywood would rather keep them secret. And there's a performance of Ravel's Bolero as you’ve never heard it before. We discover how the impressionist painter Monet had cataracts to thank for some of his most vibrant water lilliesJoin Nikki Bedi for all this and more in The Arts Hour.

Photo shows: Kelis (c) BBC, Claude Monet (c) Henry Guttman/Getty, Shlomo (c) BBC

Lena Dunham, Wilbur Smith, Neel Mukherjee20141012

Jamaican poet Kei Miller has just won the prestigious £10,000 Forward Prize for the best poetry collection of 2014. He explains how his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has helped fuel his prolific output. Creator, producer and star of HBO series Girls, Lena Dunham, discusses her new memoir and the inspiration behind the hit TV series. Indian novelist, Neel Mukherjee, talks about his book, The Lives of Others, which explores the way an Indian family's history is disrupted when one member becomes involved in extremist political activism.

Has ethnic division entered Kenyan theatre? With more and more plays performed in various regional tongues, Wairimu Gitahi, reports on a phenomenon sparking debate across the country. Plus, legendary author, Wilbur Smith, on his new novel Desert God, and the secret to successful storytelling.

We visit the KM Conservatoire of Music in Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It was founded by the composer A.R. Rahman and it offers a unique kind of tuition, one that mixes both Hindustani and Western classical music teaching. As the Ebola outbreak continues to spread in West Africa, one of the vital questions is how do you spread public health messages in countries where many people can't read? In Liberia the spreading of messages is often done by the music radio stations who rap about whatever is current in the news. We listen in to Hot FM in Monrovia to get a flavour of their radio coverage. And, British man of words, George The Poet, describes his dizzying itinerary from Uganda to the Albert Hall via King's College Cambridge and performs from his latest work about premature parenthood.

(Photo: Lena Dunham (c) Jemal Countess/Getty Images, Wilbur Smith (c) Ben A Pruchnie/Getty Images, Neel Mukherjee (c) Nick Tucker )

Matthew Mcconaughey20140126

Matthew McConaughey discusses why he wanted to transform his acting career, he has just won a Golden Globe and been nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Texas hellraiser, Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club. Thomas Keneally takes us back to World War II Australia in his new novel, Shame and the Captives and Gemma Cairney travels to Bamako in Mali to get a sense of the music scene two years after secular music was banned there. The Coen Brothers tell us about their new film, Inside Llewyn Davis which follows a week in the life of a struggling folk musician in 1960s New York, we hear about a group of young Syrian musicans who have been gaining huge popularity by giving impromptu performances on the busy streets of Damascus and Korean-American author, Chang Rae Lee tells us about his highly praised novel On Such a Full Sea.

Photo shows Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

Maya Angelou2013042020130421 (WS)

Why Maya Angelou kicked Billie Holiday out of her house

Maya Angelou questions Billie Holiday's skills as a childminder; bestselling crime writer Donna Leon on why tourists are ruining live music in Venice; superstar photographer Sebastaio Salgado on hanging out with the seals on South Georgia; Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez on the art of the good remake; writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on why US attitudes to race are weird when you're an outsider; Pakistani author Nadeem Aslam on the growing number of casualties from US drone attacks PLUS indigenous art in Haiti and Australia and why Indonesia says 'yes' to death metal, but 'no' to Lady Gaga.

Credit:Kris Connor/Getty Images

Maya Angelou, Patrick Stewart, Philip Roth20140601

We pay tribute to the poet, activist and extraordinary storyteller Maya Angelou, British acting legend Sir Patrick Stewart talks about meeting his younger self in X-Men: Days of Future Past and ‘America’s greatest living writer’ Philip Roth is unleashed in conversation with Alan Yentob.

We hear from Brooklyn based artist and music producer Fatima Al Qadiri, making waves with her signature Sino-Grime sound, as she chats to the BBC’s Benji B. Former grunge goddess Courtney Love tells us about her new YouTube channel and what it’s like dating rich guys; while stand-up comedian Louis CK reveals his scatter gun approach to chatting up women.

Director John Turturro reveals how he persuaded Woody Allen to star alongside him playing his pimp in his new film, Fading Gigolo. And our man in Cannes, Phillip Bergson, reports on the winners and losers of this year’s film festival.

(Photo L to R: Maya Angelou, Patrick Stewart, Philip Roth)

Michael Douglas20131229

In Part One we meet the great Indian architect Charles Correa who contrasts pastiche architecture with his own designs drawing on Indian myth and folklore. Then in Amsterdam we tour the city’s splendidly revamped Rijksmuseum which reopened this year. From New York, Kurt Andersen at our partner station WNYC discusses the year’s highlights in the city’s art scene – including Banksy’s month-long commission. And the Hong Kong-based rockstar cinematographer Christopher Doyle discusses matching words to pictures in the interactive phone app Away with Words.

In Part Two Michael Douglas talks about his role as Liberace in the film Behind The Candelabra, and how he practised the playing piano whilst ill with cancer. Indian megastar Shahrukh Khan talks about his hit film Chennai Express and about the difficulties of filming comedy well, Sofia Coppola discusses the connection between her life and characters in her recent film The Bling Ring. Eli Glasner, arts reporter from partner station CBC in Canada, discusses the rise of the Canadian film industry with local film hits Goon and The F Word. And from the BBC’s brilliant Sound of Cinema season we hear about the early pioneers who created the electronic sounds for space movies.

Photo: Michael Douglas (image from Behind the Candelabra), Sofia Coppola (c) Rob Kun/Getty, Shahruk Khan (image for Chennai Express)

Michael Fassbender20140511

Hollywood star Michael Fassbender tells The Arts Hour why he discovered putting a giant mask over your head really quite liberating. He stars in a new film Frank about the musician who always performed in an oversized papier maché.

The band Coldplay releases their sixth studio album - Ghost Stories – and their lead singer Chris Martin talks about getting the balance right between public and private life.

This year marks the the centenary of the birth of Wales’ greatest poet – Dylan Thomas. Former US President Jimmy Carter reveals why he is a lifelong devotee.

Indian musician Debashish Bhattacharya demonstrates how the blues would sound on his slide guitar.

There is the story of the cellist of Sarajevo who played Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor during the siege in the middle of the Bosnian war

As the annual film fest feast starts in Cannes next week – we open the curtains on an exclusive peak at the non-Hollywood films which are likely to cause a stir.

Plus Ziggy Marley, son of the Reggae legend Bob tells us why he embraces that old adage that behind every successful man, is a good woman.

(Photo: From left to right, Chris Martin, Michael Fassbender, Credit: Getty Images, Ziggy Marley, Credit: Roxanne Haynes)

Mick Jagger, Anne Tyler, John Boorman And More2013040620130407 (WS)
20130408 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from the BBC and beyond.

The best global arts coverage from the BBC and beyond. Presented by Nicki Bedi.

Peter Fonda, Joni Mitchell, Jostein Gaarder20140713

Nigerian artist Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze explores exclusion and dislocation in a show featuring an imagined family of ghosts, aliens and hybrid creatures. In the run up to the Commonwealth Games we have a poem by postcard from Malawi. In Hong Kong we explore the books banned in mainland China at this year’s Book Fair. In Oslo, Norway we meet Jostein Gaarder the best-selling author of Sophie’s World.

Peter Fonda talks about his iconic film, Easy Rider and the breakdown of the relationship with its star and director Dennis Hopper. We discover Saraojini Naidu, poet, and activist for independence in India, and who much like Fonda and Hopper, was a visionary. Gandhi described her as "the Nightingale of India". Cerys Matthews throws new light on the celebrated singer, songwriter and guitarist Joni Mitchell

And we learn how Mel Torme’s classic Christmas song was composed by a writer desperately trying to keep cool on a hot day.

(Photo: Peter Fonda (c) Stuart C Wilson, Joni Mitchell (c) Larry Basaccra), Jostein Gaarder

Playwright Sir Tom Stoppard20130825

Sir Tom Stoppard on mashing up Pink Floyd and philosophy in his new radio play

Sir Tom Stoppard on pushing fat men out of balloons and other moral conundrums; actor and musician Riz Ahmed explains the cultural importance of Streetfighter 2; producer Naughty Boy describes the fateful moment when he first heard Emeli Sande sing; indigenous Australian soprano Deborah Cheetham on how she turned being stolen from her mother into art; Orange Is The New Black creator Jenji Kohan reveals how a casting problem on the TV show was solved by an incredible stroke of good fortune; Kurdish director Umut Dag explores the issue of 'second wives' in his film Kuma; and beatboxer Beardyman unveils his extraordinary Beadytron looping device.

Photo: Netflix Original Series Orange is The New Black

Pretty Yende20140525

Nikki Bedi presents her pick of BBC arts broadcasting.

South African superstar soprano Pretty Yende reveals she thought opera must be supernatural when she first heard it as a sixteen year old. Gareth Edwards, the director of the new film version of Godzilla, explains the dark origins of the mega-popular monster. The best blues singer you’ve never heard of: ‘Little Miss Cornshucks’ and the medical reason why her voice is literally unique. A visit to the studio of the musician and superstar singer/songwriter and music producer Pharrell Williams. L-FRESH the Lion tells us what it’s like to be a Sikh hip hop artist. How the spirited and fearless Georgia O’Keeffe changed the landscape of American art. The Chinese Film director Jia Zhanke on why his crime film ‘A Touch of Sin’ may never get a release in China. And we hear about the play that has been running in Buenos Aires since 2005 and has gone on to tour 22 countries and has been translated into 8 different languages – what is its appeal?

Photo: from left to right, Little Miss Cornshucks, Pretty Yende and Georgia O'Keeffe (credit: Library of Congress, Carl Van Vechten Collection).

Richard Flanagan, Les Murray, Food In Opera20140727

We take the sleeves off songs which once caused so much furore that the BBC banned them. And, Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan discusses his latest book The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Sheila Dillon delves deep into the passionate 400 year history between food and opera.

Plus, Les Murray sends us a Poetry Postcard from Australia. Kirsty Wark explores Scotland's Art Revolution: The Maverick Generation. And, we hear about a solar-powered fund-raising project called Wired for Sound, which explores the music of northern Mozambique.

(Photo shows: Richard Flanagan (c) AFP, Les Murray (c) Regina Botros, Glyndebourne Opera image (c) Robert Workman)

Rijksmuseum Re-opens2013041320130414 (WS)
20130415 (WS)

The best global arts coverage from across the BBC.

Sir Paul Mccartney20131027

'You’ve got the bunny that came out the top hat' – Sir Paul McCartney

discusses his album New, which features happy-clappy sing-along numbers, lounge grooves and more edgy rock. And, as Sandra Bullock’s film Gravity becomes a box office phenomenon, with audiences heading back to see the film in IMAX and 3D, we talk to the director Alfonso Cuarón.

BBC News Entertainment Reporter Lizo Mzimba brings us the showbiz roundup. Plus, cross-dressing conceptual artist Grayson Perry delivers his second BBC Reith Lecture with a witty exploration of the age-old question - what is art?

(Image: Sir Paul McCartney (c) Slaven Vlasic/Getty, Grayson Perry (c) BBC/Richard Ansett)

Steve Mcqueen, Kamila Shamsie, Denzel Washington20140928

Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen explains why he will never be trapped by the Hollywood system. Denzel Washington discusses playing an Avenging Angel in The Equalizer. Sami Yusuf, often called Islam’s biggest rock star, reveals why he wanted to give up music and become a laywer. Author Kamila Shamsie tells us about the one book she would never lend. The poet and Rastafari Benjamin Zephaniah takes us on a tour of Turner’s paintings. Yrsa Sigurdardottir, the bestselling Icelandic crime writer, tells us how her latest book was inspired by the Marie Celeste mystery. And we hear about the flourishing stand-up comedy scene in Zimbabwe.

(Photo: Steve McQueen (c) Frazer Harrison/Getty, Kamila Shamsie (c) Shaun Curry/Getty, Denzel Washington (c) Jamie McCarthy/Getty)

Sting Heads For Broadway2013092220130923 (WS)

'I describe it as projectile vomiting' - Sting on writing his new album The Last Ship

Taylor Swift, Sir Willard White, Matthew Mcconaughey2014111520141117 (WS)

Taylor Swift on her new album 1989, Sir Willard White on his profundo voice, Giller Prize

One of the world’s biggest pop star, Taylor Swift, talks about her new album 1989 with a live session performance. Detroit had been considering selling off its city-owned art collection worth $816m to pay towards bankruptcy. Should art pay for pensions? In the last of the BBC series of Africa Beats, we introduce Villy and his band The Xtreme Volumes. As the year’s biggest film opens widely around the world, we talk to Interstellar director Christopher Nolan. Sir Willard White, one of the deepest voices in classical music says that the presence of his profundo voice even surprises its owner. From Toronto we hear about the recent winner of Giller Prize, one of the biggest literary prizes in North America and new TV show Strange Empire. And, finally the musical history of the Slap Bass from the 1920s through Elvis, Sly and the Family Stone to a London studio.

(Photo: Taylor Swift (c) Jason Merritt/Getty Images, Sir Willard White (c) Dan Kitwood/Getty Images, Matthew McConaughey (c) Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Terry Gilliam20140309

Join Nikki Bedi for an interview with controversial rapper Ice Cube - Ice talks about his new film, Ride Along and his forthcoming album. We discover the story of Calcutta painter Jamini Roy, a pioneer of contemporary art in India, and theatre writer Glen Burger discusses whether the disastrous Broadway show - Spiderman Turn Off The Dark was doomed from the very start.

Author Helen Oyeyemi talks about her new novel, Boy, Snow, Boy which is a contemporary re-telling of the Snow White fairytale set in New York and Massachussets. Film-maker Terry Gilliam talks about his latest sci-fi movie The Zero Theorem, and we hear from Stromae the Belgian-Rwandan musician who is topping the charts across Europe. Plus, we visit a new exhibition of photographs in Nairobi that is challenging pre-conceptions by exploring the lives of male sex workers, and we learn the surprising history of slide guitar.

(Photo: Terry Gilliam (c) Ian Gavan/Getty, Spiderman - Turn Off The Dark (c) Mike Coppola/Getty, Stromae (c) Bertrand Guay/Getty)

The Bridge20140209

"We don't understand each other"- Denmark's Kim Bodnia on acting with his Swedish co-star

Tom Hanks: The Perils Of Filming At Sea2013102020131021 (WS)

'It wasn't until another guy threw up on me that we finally stopped' - Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks and director Paul Greengrass talk a lot about English football and a little about their new film Captain Phillips. Photographer Dayanita Singh explains how Indian classical music has a profound effect on how she displays her work. Grammy nominated singer, composer and producer Janelle Monae on her new album Electric Lady and why her alter-ego is an android, and artist Grayson Perry explains the peculiar process by which a work of art attains value in his first of four BBC Reith Lectures entitled Democracy Has Bad Taste.

(Image: Grayson Perry (c) BBC, Janelle Monae (c) Debbie Hickey/Getty, Tom Hanks (c) Stuart C. Wilson/Getty )

Travel Writer And Novelist Paul Theroux2013090820130909 (WS)

Paul Theroux explains why good travel writers cannot be cantankerous. Film-maker Kim Mordaunt on his adventures with unexploded bombs and dangerous homemade rockets in Laos. Indie director Shane Carruth is unconcerned that audiences have difficulty understanding his films. Poet Stephen J Kalinich takes us on a tour of urban poetry in Los Angeles. Legendary soul musician Booker T Jones plays live in the studio and explains how his paper round paved the way to fame and fortune at Stax Records. Plus, veteran film director Nic Roeg talks about shooting one of the most famous sex scenes in cinema history and how the censor saw something that wasn't even there.

(Photo: Paul Theroux. Credit: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty)

(Photo: Booker T Jones: Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty)

'People think I'm grumpy, I'm really not. I have the disposition of a hobbit' Paul Theroux