The South Bank Show's new series to feature episode on Gail Rebuck

The South Bank Show's new series to feature episode on Gail Rebuck

Gail Rebuck will be the subject of an episode of "The South Bank Show", the long-running arts television series presented by Melvyn Bragg, in early December.

Airing on Sky Arts and NOW TV on Wednesday 5th December at 10pm, the episode will chart the life and achievements of "publishing powerhouse" and "trailblazer" Rebuck and "the various revolutions which have taken place in the publishing world during her career, not least for women in the industry". Contributors will include Penguin authors Nigella Lawson and Robert Harris.

Rebuck, chair of Penguin Random House UK, was not yet 30 when she was invited to become a founding director of Century Publishing. She went on to hold the posts of chief executive and chair of Random House UK for 22 years, was awarded a DBE in 2009 and was appointed a life peer to the House of Lords in 2014. She was the recipient of LBF's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

Describing Rebuck as "the most powerful woman in British publishing for three decades", The South Bank Show said: "Noted not just for her commercial flair, she has also nurtured the careers of many authors as well as helping Random House UK (now Penguin Random House UK) to prosper in the new digital economy."

Rebuck's spot is part of a new season of the 40-year old programme devoted entirely to women. Other women topping the line-up over the next couple of months are: Tracey Ullman, one of the first female comedians to emerge during the 1980s; soul singer turned musical theatre star Beverley Knight; opera soprano Danielle de Niese; and theatre producer Sonia Friedman. There will also be a special show highlighting the importance of the arts in education, featuring 2018 Global Teacher Prize winner Andria Zafirako.

Commenting on the new series, Bragg said: "We’ve built up this series over the last 18 months. In so many ways this is a triumphant break-out period for women and I thought the best contribution The South Bank Show could make would be to devote an entire season to women."