South Bank Show

The South Bank Show

1978 - United Kingdom

Do you know your Mark Morris from your Tynchy Stryder? Your Smiths from your Elbow? Are you up to date with the most current news in the world of male ballet? Do you know who is the latest artists 'en vogue'? Well, if you are unsure then The South Bank Show is just what you need and if you are in the know then, what a clever little thing you are! 

Melvin Bragg's award winning show has been going strong since it's launch in 1978 and you can certainly see why. The show covers an eclectic mix of subjects that takes fans and novices alike through on a cultural journey. With such a diverse range of topics, you will not be a fan of everything but you can gain insight into a genre that you know nothing of but can learn to appreciate it for what it is. Take Grime music for example; I could probably name one or two selling artists in this genre but would not be able to scratch beneath the surface and nor would I want to really. It is not music I would choose listen to on a daily basis but the episode of The South Bank show featuring Grime music allowed a glimpse into how young people from a London estate found a way for their voices to be heard, in a unique way that meant something to them. 

Melvyn Bragg

Creativity takes on many forms, some more appealing to us than others and some, that given a try, may just surprise us. There will be features on the show that are too unbearable for you, I for example could not stand to sit through an hour of James Bond chat and The Darkness, really? But that's ok. You can't like everything, right? 

With a recent move over to the fantastic Sky Arts, after its demise on ITV, there are plans for re-workings from the archives, including extra interviews and footage, so you can dip in and out of the programmes that take your fancy. Remember to include something new to you though, test that creativity of yours. Stand out episodes include the drunken and brilliant ramblings of Francis Bacon, a trip into the wonderfully eccentric world of Bjork and Alan Bennet being as wonderful as ever. In addition to the re-runs, there will be a host of new profiles that will continue to challenge audiences. 

The South Bank Show set the mould for future shows, most notably The Culture Show, but will always be a leader in bringing both popular and high culture to the masses. With ever increasing cuts to the arts and very few cultural programmes scheduled on mainstream TV, The South Bank Show needs to be treasured more than ever.

Published on January 31st, 2019. Written by Deborah Giannasi for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

Butterflies TV series

Gently thoughtful, amusing and well observed eighties situation comedy series for the BBC about a seemingly ordinary, contented, middle class suburban housewife who suddenly find herself plunged into the middle of a disorienting, emotionally tumultuous, mid-life crisis.

Also released in 1978

Edward and Mrs Simpson

This seven part, £1 million drama series from Thames Television faithfully reconstructed the events of the affair between Edward and Mrs Simpson that, in 1936, caused a constitutional crisis and Edward VIII's eventual abdication.

Also released in 1978

Top Gear

High-Octane factual television programme centred round the world of motoring, 'Top Gear' is one of the most widely viewed factual tv shows in the world

Also tagged Factual

Armchair Thriller

By the time the final story of the first series was broadcast, Armchair Thriller had built up quite a following, resulting in the first episode of 'The Limbo Connection', which starred James Bolam as a man in search of his missing wife, achieving an audience in excess of 17 million viewers.

Also released in 1978

Dallas

Dirty dealings in Texas among the oil-rich magnates.

Also released in 1978

wtm_televisionheaven

Television is as influential today as it's ever been - perhaps even more so

Also tagged Factual

Diff'rent Strokes

Diff’rent Strokes was a sitcom created around the talents of its young star, Gary Coleman, and it was a perfect fit–and a much-needed success for a ratings-starved NBC in the late 1970's. But after the show went off the air, its three non-adult stars found life difficult...

Also released in 1978

Battlestar Galactica

A band of humans who, fleeing the destruction of their twelve homeworlds by the implacable cybernetic alien race the Cylons, strike out in their rag-tag fleet protected by the last surviving Battlestar, the Galactica, in search of their mythical lost colony.

Also released in 1978-2004

Battle of the Planets

Animated sci-fi series in which a team of youngsters are tasked with a mission to save the Earth.

Also released in 1978