Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

BBC Two dedicates an evening of programmes to books

As part of the BBC's yearlong celebration of books and in partnership with World Book Night, on Saturday 5 March BBC Two will dedicate an evening of programmes to books.

The schedule includes three Culture Show Specials and a premiere of BBC Films adaptation of Brideshead Revisited.

Kicking off the night is A Million Books For Free: A Culture Show Special. Following the announcement of the World Book Night initiative on The Culture Show last year, presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon sets the scene for the massive giveaway of a million books by 20,000 givers. Each of the givers, have volunteered to hand out 48 copies of their favourite book that features on World Book Night's selected list of 25 titles.

Mark Bell, Arts Commissioning Editor of the BBC, says: "World Book Night is an excellent opportunity for the BBC to follow this great giveaway and celebrate the brilliance of the book, from bestsellers to the brightest literary stars of tomorrow."

Jamie Byng, Chair of World Book Night, says: "We are thrilled to have the BBC as partners on World Book Night and are grateful for all the support they have given us to launch this ground-breaking celebration of writing and reading. We hope that BBC audiences have been inspired to join as givers, and we also welcome those viewers who decide to be a part of the celebrations, be it in person at one of the many events taking place across the country on 5 March or through tuning into their televisions on the big night."

In the second of the night's Culture Show Specials, Sue Perkins investigates crime and experiences "new romance" in an attempt to discover the essential ingredients of a best-selling novel in The Books We Really Read.

The final documentary, New Novelists: 12 Of The Best from The Culture Show, reveals Britain's brightest new literary fiction talent as selected by a Culture Show panel of judges who include the chair and presenter of the programme, Professor of English John Mullan, former literary editor of the Telegraph Sam Leith, novelist Helen Oyeyemi, critic and broadcaster Alex Clark and Culture Show editor Janet Lee.

Adding to the sense of occasion, between each of the Culture Show documentaries their will be three live broadcasts from World Book Night events around the country. At 7.57pm Will Gompertz will broadcast from the Aye Write Festival in Glasgow. At 8.57pm Stuart Maconie will broadcast from a centre for the homeless in Manchester. And at 9.57pm James Naughtie will broadcast from Southbank Centre's Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall.

Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two, commented: "BBC Two is absolutely committed to literature in the heart of the schedule and as part of Books on the BBC 2011 we are really thrilled to be hosting a night of books programming. BBC Two will be leading the way with exciting live event coverage of World Book Night, and our flagship arts strand The Culture Show brings new talent in New Novelists, and the wonderful Sue Perkins in Books People Really Read."

In addition to BBC Two's coverage of World Book Night, BBC Radio 4's A Good Read dedicates the programme on Tuesday 1 March to the initiative, with guests selecting their favourite title from the list of 25. In the week leading up to World Book Night, its nightly arts programme Front Row (7.15pm) will broadcast interviews with some of the authors from the list. BBC Radio 7 presents a selection of archive readings from the Top 25 book night list.


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