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Portrait Artist of the Year

Portrait Artist of the Year

  • Premiered: 
    November 5, 2013
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Sky Arts 1
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Talent
  • Tags: art

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Plot Synopsis

Hosts Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner search the UK and Ireland for a new star of the art world -- whether amateur, professional or hobbyist -- with the help of a panel of judges, including: Kate Bryan, Head of Contemporary at the Fine Art Society; Kathleen Soriano, Director of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy; and award-winning artist Tai-Shan Schierenberg. Regional heats take place across the UK and Ireland are shortlisted artists were challenged to produce a portrait of one of three famous sitters. At the end of each round the judges select an artist to go through to the semi-final. The winners from the heats then take part in more portrait challenges, before the grand final at the National Portrait Gallery. The four finalists see their work exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery for a month and the winner is awarded a 10,000-pound major commission for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. This prize commission becomes part of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery's permanent art collection, and the winner receives a year's supply of materials. Winners include: Nick Lord (Season 1 in 2013), who painted Hilary Mantel; Christian Hook (Season 2 in 2014), who painted Alan Cumming. Sitters for Season 1 were: actors Robert Lindsay, Alison Steadman, John Hannah, Pauline McLynn and Juliet Stevenson; sportsmen Gavin Henson and Michael Kerr; musician Lethal Bizzle; and more. In Season 2, the sitters for the regional rounds included: Sol Campbell, Maisie Williams, John Humphrys, Julian Fellowes, Ronni Ancona, Helena Kennedy QC, Daniela Nardini, Gary Kemp, Ashley Jensen, Jilly Cooper, Melvyn Bragg, Daniel Roche, Neil Hannon, Sharon Corr, Colm Meaney, Non Evans, Greg Davies and Ade Adepitan.
On Sunday, October 18, 2015 at Noon ET during the cable channel's "Ovation Spotlight," Ovation aired the U.S. premiere of PORTRAIT ARTIST OF THE YEAR, starting with the show's second season. In this first episode, Frank Skinner and Joan Bakewell begin their hunt for the Portrait Artist of the Year, and the first heat sees artists paint sitters including Sol Campbell.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Storyvault Films