Kaiser Chiefs frontman and former art teacher, Ricky Wilson, teams up with award-winning BBC Radio 1 presenter, Vick Hope for a brand new CBBC show, which sees 27 budding young artists from around the UK compete to be crowned Britain’s Best Young Artist.
Armed with a sketchbook and pencil, each episode sees three contenders take part in an Inspiration Day, designed to challenge and stretch their artistic muscles, before returning to the art studio to create a showstopping artwork.
The wannabe artists must impress Ricky and a guest judge who will be on hand to critique the finished artwork and decide who moves onto the next round. Joining Ricky as a guest judge will be world-class artists including Alison Lapper, Simeon Barclay, Si Mitchell and many more.
Those that make the semi-finals are commissioned to create an original piece of art for celebrities including, Dr Alex George; racing driver, Jamie Chadwick and former Blue Peter presenter, Lindsey Russell, all appearing in the series.
The series culminates with the grand finale, in which the top 3 artists have to draw on all of their creative skills and experience to produce a winning masterpiece which best depicts their hometown. Out of 3 semi-finalists, there can only be one winner who goes on to be crowned Britain’s Best Young Artist and win the prize of their final masterpiece displayed at an art gallery in their hometown.
Ricky says: “I’ve really enjoyed seeing what all the kids in the show can do and what they can do is astonishing. If I could do anything as half as good as them at that age, then I’d be winning the Turner Prize.”
Vick says: “Britain’s Best Young Artist is a place for experimentation, for getting your hands dirty, getting stuck in, and trying new things. This show proves that anyone can make art, and anyone can be an artist, no matter how young they are.”
Britain’s Best Young Artist (14×30’), made by BBC Children’s In-House Productions will air Monday to Thursday on CBBC and BBC iPlayer from Monday 7 February.
Britain’s Best Young Artist was filmed in a warehouse studio in Bolton, Greater Manchester and across several UK locations including Wales, Cumbria, Yorkshire, West Midlands and London.
Britain’s Best Young Artist is made by BBC Children’s In-House Productions. The Executive Producer is Annette Williams and Series Producer is Rob Jenkinson.
Interview with hosts Ricky Wilson and Vick Hope
Tell us about Britain’s Best Young Artist
Vick: We are celebrating the artistic talent that there is in the UK, we’re looking for the best young artists in the UK across so many disciplines including portraiture, landscape, animal art, fan art, modern art, street art, cartoon, collage and still life.
Ricky: It’s really exciting because they are all brilliant in their own way but everyone is also completely different and that’s the great thing about art, there is no right or wrong and that’s why it’s so hard to judge.
What can viewers expect in the show?
Vick: The most spectacular talent. My mind has been blown by how amazing these young people are and there isn’t a right or wrong. It’s a little insight into what is going on in the kids’ minds.
Ricky: I’ve really enjoyed seeing what they can do, and what they can do is astonishing. If I could do anything as half as good as them at that age then I’d be winning the Turner Prize. It’s been great putting them in a room together as they’re probably the best person in their class, then they meet someone else who is the best person in their class from halfway across the country and they go ‘I’m not alone in this’. There’s a community and they can grow, which is really helpful.
Vick: They can learn from each other too. Once we get to the semi-finals there’s a portrait artist meeting a landscape artist, meeting a collage artist and there’s so many different things they can bring to their own art that they haven’t thought of before. It’s a place for experimentation, for getting your hands dirty and getting stuck in and trying new things and I hope it has given the kids confidence.
Why should viewers watch the show?
Vick: It is loads of fun and it is really inspiring. It makes you want to do a bit of art and that makes you feel good. It is pure undiluted joy that we all deserve to have.
Ricky: Yes and A) you could watch it and think these guys are brilliant I want to make some art and B) I’m better than this, I’m going to apply next year.
Ricky, what was it like been a judge?
Ricky: I find it very difficult. If you are unsure, it’s very difficult. There were a couple where it was literally a last-minute decision.
Vick: I don’t envy you at all, I don’t have to judge and genuinely when I see the three final masterpieces standing there in each round, I want them all to go through. And I have argued, I went to see the producers and asked if we can send more through because they deserve it, they deserve it so much.
If you were in the show, which discipline would you choose to do?
Vick: When I did GCSE art, my favourite thing was landscapes. I love landscapes, I love cityscapes. I love when I go on holiday and look at the nature and drink it all in. It’s amazing. I love the natural colours. My favourite artist is Turner and they’re all seascapes.
Ricky: I’d have done portraits and that would have been good, as we wouldn’t be up against each other.
What advice do you have for young artists?
Vick: Whenever we see a final masterpiece, if there’s anything else I want is to go a little bigger and be brave.
Ricky: Be brave, trust in your own confidence
Vick: Have fun! Sometimes we get so bogged down with creating something, just have fun.
Ricky: There’s no right or wrong. It’s the greatest subject in the world.