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Arena is the BBC's multi award-winning arts strand. Founded in 1975, Arena continues to produce gold standard documentaries for the BBC and world service.

Genres: Celebrities | Interview
Station: BBC Four (UK)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Running
Start: 1975-10-01

Arena Air Dates

S2017E04 - Kirsty Young: 75 Years of Desert Island Discs Air Date: 29 May 2017 21:00 -

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As Desert Island Discs reaches 75, today's custodian of the island, Kirsty Young, introduces the 1982 Bafta-winning Arena classic. It celebrated Roy Plomley and his magical idea on their 40th anniversary.

By then, everyone who was anyone had been cast adrift and washed up on Roy's island. Arena's castaways include 40th anniversary guest Paul McCartney, Frankie Howerd, Trevor Brooking, Professor J K Galbraith, Russell Harty and the great comedian Arthur Askey.

S2017E05 - American Epic Part 3: Out of the Many, the One Air Date: 04 June 2017 21:00 -

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The third episode takes a look at the influence of Hawaiian music and more specifically, the steel guitar, which became a central sound to a range of musical styles. When Joseph Kekuku picked up a metal bolt as he wandered down a train track, the bolt hit the strings of his guitar and the sound was born. He perfected his slide to create a new instrument that would travel the world.

S2017E06 - American Epic Part 4: The Sessions Air Date: 09 June 2017 22:00 -

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The machine that introduced the sounds of America to its people has been lovingly reassembled and now, in the heart of Hollywood, in a perfect recreation of the atmosphere and conditions of America's first ever recording studios, today's music superstars roll the epic on.

Elton John, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Alabama Shakes, Jack White, Nas, Ana Gabriel, Beck, Los Lobos and Steve Martin are among the artists who test their skills against the demands of the recording machine that literally made American music. There are no edits, no overdubs and no retakes, and the disc only allows for three minutes of recording time.

S2018E01 - Stanley and His Daughters Air Date: 04 February 2018 22:00 -

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Film exploring the relationship of artist Stanley Spencer's two daughters, Unity and Shirin, as they try to understand and reclaim their father and investigate their family's archaeology. The film examines what it is like to be the children of a genius in a family whose private life has been described as 'the most bizarre domestic soap opera in the history of British art'. At the heart of the film are Stanley's daughters - Unity, 87 and Shirin, who's 91. Their separation, post-Stanley's divorce from fellow artist Hilda was traumatic. So, too, the fiasco of their father's second marriage to self-confessed lesbian, Patricia Preece. This separation took root in the daughters' lives, and only in old age have they come together. The film follows this late-life rapprochement, as Unity boxes up her father's drawings and letters and leaves her London home of 40 years to be with Shirin in Wales.

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