BBC ‘homework’ turns viewers off art, says critic
By Patrick Foster Radio Times
THE BBC has turned viewers off art by making programmes into “a kind of homework”, one of the corporation’s art critics has claimed. Waldemar Januszczak, who will present a BBC Four series on the Renaissance, said the corporation “has a lot to answer for”, for failing to make popular programmes about art and artists. He told the BBC had “helped create this image that art is a kind of homework, that needs to do you good. “You get some bloke talking about frogs in the Amazon and there will be a million and a half watching every time. People would rather see frogs s--- in the Amazon than a great Raphael. Why?” Januszczak insisted his four-part series would not be boring. It will argue that many developments in Renaissance art took place in northern Europe, rather than in Italy. Part of the series explores sex and nudity, but Januszczak revealed that this created another problem. He said he had had “arguments with the BBC promotion people because they didn’t want to put images of nudity out before the watershed”.