BBC sidelines Review Show

BBC sidelines Review Show

The BBC's flagship arts and culture programme, "The Review Show", is being cut from a weekly to a monthly slot and moved from BBC2 to BBC4, as part of the BBC's cost-cutting measures.

The programme regularly reviews books as well as discussing films, plays, exhibitions and more general issues in the arts. Recent episodes have included interviews with novelists Lionel Shriver and Ian McEwan and programmes marking the 50th anniversary of the death of Sylvia Plath and the first publication of A Clockwork Orange.

Regular presenters Martha Kearney and Kirsty Wark will continue to work on the programme, which will now last for an hour, rather than 45 minutes. It will also be given a slot between 7 p.m. and 10.30 p.m.; it is currently screened on BBC2 at 11 p.m. on Friday nights.

BBC Four said it would be increasing its hours and spend on arts and culture for 2013/14. BBC Four controller Richard Klein said: "Arts, music and culture have always served as the backbone of BBC Four but this year we're increasing our commitment to topical arts, introducing a number of new strands that will enable us to shine a light on contemporary arts, theatre, literature and film."

It is unclear whether the changes for "The Review Show" will mean fewer hours of coverage for books overall on the BBC. Other new arts and culture programmes announced for BBC4 include "What Do Artists Do All Day?", a  series of observational portraits that will explore the working lives of leading artists, and "Opening Night", which will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at sold-out exhibitions, musicals and shows around the world.