Art v Pop

September 24 2012

Image of Art v Pop

Picture: National Gallery of Wales/Your Paintings

We had an average of 4.3m viewers last night, which beat the figures for programme 1 (3.8m). The show peaked at 4.7m, and seems to have held out well against XFactor starting halfway through over on ITV. Plus, we had lost viewers in Scotland, where the programme went out much earlier, at 5pm (not sure why). So thanks to all of you who watched, and to those of you who got in touch either on Twitter or afterwards. I'm delighted to say that we've been recommissioned for a third series. So if you think you've got a Leonardo in your loft, now is the time to say... 

In my earlier 'Test Your Connoisseurship' entry on one of the Turners from last night's programme, almost all of those who wrote in thought it was not by Turner. Interestingly, the thing which put everyone off was the composition. But as we showed in the programme, it had been cut down. Let me know if you have the other half! Only one reader thought that it was by Turner - so loud applause to reader and well-regarded art sleuth James Mulraine. And loud applause also to Philip Mould, by the way, who, in an impressive piece of connoisseurial sleuthing, decided almost the minute he saw the pictures that they were by Turner. I'm much less certain when it comes to landscapes, and it took me quite a bit longer to decide for myself that they were 'right'. Turner is, as the programme showed, a fiendishly difficult artist figure out - so for Philip to spot it straight away gives you a glimpse into how unerring his unerring eye is.

If you did enjoy last night's programme, can I also direct you to applaud the super-human efforts that the BBC puts into making these shows. One of the things I have learnt from my involvement with 'Fake or Fortune?' is just how supremely talented telly people are. To do what I do and look at three paintings in a museum, and try and figure out whether they are by Turner is one thing - but to look at them and envisage in your mind a whole one hour programme, where and how to film it, who to film, what music to use, and all the other details that viewers take for granted, is completely beyond me. 

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