To celebrate 150 years of the National Portrait Gallery, well-known people select a portrait from the gallery to comment on.


01Malcom Mclaren On Andy Warhol's Silkscreen Images Of Queen Elizabeth Ii20060814

McLaren knew Warhol and tells us why he thinks Andy's portraits have lost their power and become fashion.

02Toyah Wilcox On Lytton Strachey20060815

Toyah chooses Dora Carrington's intimate study of the writer Lytton Strachey - the man Dora adored and with whom she shared a menage a trois. Wilcox reveals how she is drawn to Carrington as a free spirit, despite Dora's reputation for promiscuity and enjoying a lesser talent than the others in the Bloomsbury Group.

03Jeremy Paxman On George Iv20060816

Modern royal dysfunctional marriage has nothing on the farcial story of King George IV and his relationships with his wife and mistress. Jeremy Paxman teases out the story and its modern equivalents from portraits in the Regency Room at the National Portrait Gallery.

04Gurinda Chadha On Lord Bill Morris20060817

Last year, the recently retired union leader was honoured with a portrait by John Keane. Film director Gurinda Chadha talks to the artist and to the National Portrait Gallery contemporary collection curator to celebrate a very successful commission and to find out how subjects are chosen for portrait and why.

05 LAST20060818

Historian and Chair of the Trustees at the National Portrait Gallery, David Cannadine is gripped by John Singer Sargent's grand portrait of the Conservative prime minister Arthur Balfour. He contrasts this impressive, elongated, imperious portrait with the lamentable career of a man said to be the second worst Tory leader of the 20th century.


By Michael Mundell.

Sydney, 1944.

William Dobell wins the Archibald Prize with a portrait of his friend and fellow artist Joshua Smith.

But is it a portrait or a caricature? with Paul English, Richard Piper, Frank Gallagher, Joy Mitchell and Denis Moore.

Director Janet Whitaker


Tom Kelly's play features Patrick, a confused 15 year old desperately trying to navigate the minefield of 21st Century masculinity.

Unfortunately his only role models are Billy, his terribly reasonable and politically correct father and Phil his eccentric, photographer grandfather who has taken Billy's portrait every two weeks for 40 years.

  • billy....Nicholas Gleaves
  • julie....Colleen Prendergast
  • patrick....simon trinder
  • phil....david hargreaves
  • by....tom kelly
  • directed by.... - - - - david hunter