The Sixties was undoubtedly one of Britain's most fun, colourful and
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
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
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
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
At the heart of the season is a brand new documentary series, Art
and the 60s, accompanied by a major new exhibition at Tate
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
"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.