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Michael Jackson at the National Portrait Gallery, Kynren in Bishop Auckland

Michael Jackson's personal photographer Todd Gray talks to John Wilson about the star's complex relationship with his own image. Plus the Kynren pageant in Bishop Auckland.

Michael Jackson as a visual icon is the subject of a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery which brings together artists inspired by the global star. Art critic Ekow Eshun joins Todd Gray - Michael Jackson's personal photographer at the time of Off The Wall and Thriller - to discuss the star's relationship with his own image.

An American podcast, which explores the way humans use music, has investigated the use of pop music by so-called Islamic State to spread terror. John Wilson talks to Pitch producer Whitney Jones.

Kynren is a theatrical spectacular - a pageant involving more than 1,000 people telling 2,000 years of English history on an acting area of more than 7 acres, which includes a lake, longboat and working railway. We go behind the scenes in Bishop Auckland to find out how the cast and crew - all local volunteers - manage this extravaganza.

Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Timothy Prosser.

Available now

30 minutes


  • Michael Jackson at the National Portrait Gallery

    Duration: 11:59

  • Pitch

    Duration: 06:41

  • Kynren in Bishop's Auckland

    Duration: 08:42

Michael Jackson at the National Portrait Gallery

Michael Jackson at the National Portrait Gallery

Michael Jackson: On The Wall is at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 28 June - 21 October 2018.


Main image above: Michael by Gary Hume 2001.
Image credit: Private Collection. Courtesy of the artist, Sprüth Magers and Matthew Marks © Gary Hume and DACS, London 2018

Image to the left: Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson)  Kehinde Wiley 2010.
Image credit: Olbricht Collection, Berlin. Photo by Jeurg Iseler. Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York © Kehinde Wiley


by Kehinde Wiley


Pitch, a new podcast about music by Whitney Jones and Alex Kapelman is available from 29 June 2018.



Kynren, an epic tale of England, is running 17 performances between 30 June and 15 September 2018 in Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham.

Image: A Kynren finale

Image credit: Eleven Arches


Role Contributor
Presenter John Wilson
Interviewed Guest Ekow Eshun
Interviewed Guest Todd Gray
Interviewed Guest Whitney Jones
Producer Timothy Prosser




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