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Pop Art Season

In August, BBC Four Goes Pop as the channel celebrates the history and influence of Pop Art. Radio 3, Radio 4, BBC 6 Music, iWonder and BBC Arts feature more Pop - details below.

BBC Four Goes Pop

Soup Cans & Superstars

In the centrepiece film of BBC Four's pop art season, Alastair Sooke champions pop art as one of the most important art forms of the twentieth century, peeling back pop's frothy, ironic surface to reveal an art style full of subversive wit and radical ideas.

A Day in the Life of Andy Warhol

Stephen Smith meets with many of Andy Warhol's friends and confidantes to get closer to the man behind the enigmatic public image, experiencing for himself a day in the life of the pop art superstar.

A Brief History of Grafitti

Dr Richard Clay goes in search of what it is that has made us scribble and scratch mementoes of our lives for more than 30,000 years.

What Do Artists Do All Day?: Peter Blake

Over the past sixty years artist Peter Blake has enjoyed a celebrated career. We spend time with him at work in his studio and follow the process of the Mersey ferry’s makeover.

What Do Artists Do All Day?: Derek Boshier

Derek Boshier was one of the pioneers of the British Pop Art movement. We spend a day at his studio in L.A. as he works on a new painting and reflects on his life and career.

BBC Four Pop idents

Pop Artists Peter Blake, Peter Phillips and Derek Boshier are creating unique channel idents for BBC Four, to be shown on television during the season and also available here on the website.

Alastair Sooke and Peter Blake
Gerard Malanga and Stephen Smith at Lucien's, a watering hole for poets and artists on Manhatten's lower east side

BBC Radio

From Boshier to Blake, 6 Music celebrates pop art with a series of programmes about its influence on alternative music.

Lauren Laverne will be highlighting a different aspect of pop art every day on her show, along with compiling a Peoples Playlist themed around the women of pop art starting from Debbie Harry. Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone will take an in-depth look at the Velvet Underground and Nico, Sir Peter Blake presents a documentary about his most famous protégé Ian Dury and, on Friday August 28, the artist Jeremy Deller sits in for Iggy Pop to take a look at the role of art in music.

Radio 4 will broadcast Fifteen Minutes, a play by Sarah Wooley about the last days of Pop Art set in New York in the heady days of Studio 54. And on Radio 3, Paul Morley presents Andy Warhol’s Factory Friends.

Lauren Laverne


Here on the season website, as well as highlights from TV and Radio, we are featuring a bespoke Pop Art collection including a short film on artist Allen Jones; galleries of Warhol's album covers and Billy Name's photographs of Warhol's Silver Factory; features on Warhol at Tate Liverpool, German Pop Art and Scottish Pop Artist Eduardo Paolozzi. Stephen Smith also writes exclusively about the courts of Pop King Warhol and the Sun King, Louis XIV.

A BBC Four Pop Art Collection curated by Alastair Sooke will be exclusively available on BBC iPlayer, featuring Pop Goes The Easel (1962), Roy Lichtenstein: Pop Idol (2004), Monitor 139: Joe Tilson And Peter Brook (1964), Release Pop Goes To The Hayward (1969) and The Visual Scene: Playing It Cool (1969).

There are also a selection of BBC iWonder guides and timelines created for the season, including What Did British Pop Music Steal From Pop Art? - presented by 6 Music’s Stuart Maconie - exploring the relationship between British bands and pop art; and a Pop Art timeline looking at the movement's development.

Transmitting Warhol

Pop Art Features