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Summer in the Sixties
Summer in the Sixties logo


Summer in the Sixties



Introduction

 

Summer in the Sixties kicks off on BBC FOUR on 5 June.


The Sixties was undoubtedly one of Britain's most fun, colourful and lively decades.


The world fell in love with The Beatles and the Stones, TV went colour, mini skirts and Mini Coopers were all the rage, England won the 1966 football World Cup and pop and performance art turned the art scene upside down.


This was the permissive decade when the contraceptive pill became available, homosexuality laws were liberalised, Lady Chatterley's Lover won a famous obscenity trial and Private Eye and Oz magazine rattled the cage of authority.


Scratch beneath the surface of the Sixties though and the reality of life during the era wasn't as rosy as collective memory recalls.


Racism was still rife, many homosexuals lived in fear, huge strides were still to be made in women's rights and war and third world poverty were as big an issue as ever.


For Summer in the Sixties, airing this June, BBC FOUR revisits the era to take a look at the truth and the reality of the Sixties; to celebrate and reanalyse key historical and cultural moments of the decade and to give viewers a great big slice of these psychedelic, creative and turbulent times.


Summer in the Sixties is BBC FOUR's biggest season ever and covers art, music, style, drama, TV, politics, sport and film.


Fantastically broad-ranging, the season offers everything from classic programmes like the whole series of The Prisoner

to films such as Alfie and A Hard Day's Night to brand new documentaries exploring themes such as the truth behind the 'golden age' of television, gay rights in the era and issues of race.


At the heart of the season is a brand new documentary series, Art and the 60s, accompanied by a major new exhibition at Tate Britain.


This series tells the extraordinary story of London's art world and the radical new movements, and artists that were born from it.


For Roly Keating, Controller of BBC FOUR, "The 1960s are the decade that just won't fade away. It's striking how much the UK's contemporary music, art and design - not to mention our politics and social attitudes - are directly influenced by the revolutions of that turbulent and creative decade.


"The more we understand the 1960s, the better we'll understand where we are today."


Art and the 60s: This Was Tomorrow

Tate Britain, 30 June - 26 September 2004

Public information number: 020 7887 8008


Many icons of 1960s art will feature in a major exhibition at Tate Britain opening on 30 June 2004.


Art and the 60s explores new departures in art in Britain in the seminal years following 1956, a period of seismic change in British culture.


The exhibition will include some of the best-known artists of the last fifty years, among them David Hockney and Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake and Bridget Riley, as well as influential but less widely celebrated figures of the period such as John Latham, Liliane Lijn and Gustav Metzger.



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