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Portrait Artist Of The Year | Preview (Sky Arts)

Sky Arts is set to paint an impressive picture this autumn with the return of the nation’s favourite art competition, Portrait Artist of the Year. The series will take up residency on Sky Arts and Freeview for its tenth series on Wednesday 4th October with hosts Dame Joan Bakewell and Stephen Mangan.

This year’s series will begin with a special Portrait Artist of the Decade episode, which will see the winners of past series of Portrait Artist of the Year return once more to Battersea Arts Centre to paint iconic actress, Dame Judi Dench.

The 90-minute special will celebrate one of the world’s most acclaimed actors and delve into the stories of the previous winners and their careers since they won.

This year’s series of Portrait Artist of the Year will see aspiring artists from across the UK compete to win the title for 2023, with an array of celebrity sitters from the worlds of stage, screen, sport, literature, and politics sitting for portraits. The artists will battle it out once again to impress expert judges Tai Shan Schierenberg, Kathleen Soriano and Kate Bryan across seven heats.

Taking the sitter’s chair this year are: Emma Freud (Broadcaster), Richard Curtis (Screenwriter), Fleur East (Singer), Ainsley Harriott (Chef/television personality), Rory Stewart (President of “Give Directly” and author), Rob Delaney (Comedian), Jay Rayner (Critic), Nihal Arthanayake (Presenter).

Plus: Susanna Reid (Presenter), Phillipa Perry (Author), Alan Titchmarsh (Presenter), Sue Barker (Sports personality/presenter), Josh Widdecombe (Comedian), Nicky Spence (Opera Singer), Shirley Ballas (Dancer).

Also: Vanessa Kingori (Conde Nast Chief Business Officer), Mishal Hussain (Presenter), Nigel Havers (Actor), Lenny Rush (Actor), Joe Sugg (writer and YouTube personality) and Daryl McCormack (Actor).

Each heat winner will go on to paint British pop icon Emma Bunton in the semi-final and the three finalists will battle it out to take home the title, painting broadcasting legend and Portrait Artist of the Year royalty, Dame Joan Bakewell.

This year’s winner will receive a £10,000 commission to create a portrait of world-renowned conservationist Dr Dame Jane Morris Goodall DBE, which will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in December.

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, said: “We are tremendously proud that over 10 years Portrait Artist of the Year has become the pre-eminent painting prize in the UK, and that so many of the wonderfully talented artists who’ve appeared on the programme have gone on to have such glittering careers in portraiture. That plus a range of famous faces captured on canvas make this a true jewel in the Sky Arts crown.”

Chairman of Storyvault Films, Stuart Prebble said, “We’re very proud of everything our series has delivered over ten years for Sky Arts and especially for the hundreds of brilliant and inspiring artists who’ve featured in it. And what better way to celebrate our tenth anniversary than with three Grande Dames as our sitters – Dame Joan, Dame Judi and Dame Jane?”

Portrait Artist of the Decade airs on Sky Arts, Freeview and NOW on 4th October. Portrait Artist of the Year airs weekly on Sky Arts, Freeview and NOW from 11th October.


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