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BBC filming in Margate with historian Mary Beard

By Jodie Nesling

Celebrated classicist Mary Beard is in Margate filming a new programme for the BBC.

The Cambridge professor is interviewing people about Turner Contemporary and the effect it has had on the town since opening in 2012.

The show aims to discuss the gallery and its architecture as part of a new series.

Mary Beard speaks to Deborah Ellis at Madam Popoff Vintage (4095299)
Mary Beard speaks to Deborah Ellis at Madam Popoff Vintage (4095299)

As part of the BBC’s autumn arts offer, the cultural broadcaster returns this September as presenter for BBC Two’s topical arts discussion programme Front Row Late.

Prof. Beard tucked into fish and chips from Pete's Fish Factory and visited Madam Popoff Vintage to interview owner, Deborah Ellis.

She asked whether Turner Contemporary had been a force for good for the town and whether it had negatively impacted communities due to a rise in house prices. She also commented on the diverse and eclectic variety of cafes and vintage shops.

In the first programme she is joined by actor and director Richard Wilson, veteran broadcaster Joan Bakewell and cultural critic, activist and Crossbench peer Baroness Lola Young who will discuss whether older people are fairly represented on stage and on screen.

Mary Beard enjoyed fish and chips (4155224)
Mary Beard enjoyed fish and chips (4155224)

They will also consider whether new poetry by Clive James might help promote a wider conversation about illness and mortality. The programme will also feature a rare television interview with Clive, who talks to Mary about his life, work and legacy.

Other episodes of Front Row Late will explore the impact of architecture on our lives and the role of drama and photography in helping us understand our history, whilst also offering discussion around weekly topical arts and culture.

Mary Beard, presenter Front Row Late, said: “I am very pleased to have been let loose on Front Row Late again. We've got some special treats coming up in this new series - from an interview with Clive James in episode one to later in the run a visit to a battle re-enactment (which prompts all kinds of questions about how we imagine history).

"This programme really gets out and about throughout the UK to bring viewers the best in topical arts and culture, from Dundee to Margate and Birmingham, to all points around and in-between!”

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