Radio Scotland names line-up for Arts show

Arts Show presenters English, left, and Forsyth

BBC Radio Scotland has appointed two permanent presenters for the early-evening arts programme previously fronted by Brian Morton.

In February he controversially resigned from his eponymous programme – now renamed the Arts Show – after six years in charge. It has since had temporary presenters on rotation, but from August its hosts will be Clare English, former presenter of Radio 4’s PM, and Janice Forsyth.

Senior Producer Colin McKerchar said the Arts Show would “get out and about more, nationally, as well as covering all the major movie releases, theatre productions and books”.

The move could be seen as acknowledgment of Morton’s main criticism of the show when he resigned – that it is deferential to and biased towards London coverage.

In February he told The Herald: “One of my beefs is that the programme is not being Scottish enough. There is a kind of pseudo-metropolitanism about; most of our reviewers are in London.” English began her journalism on the community broadcast wing of Radio Clyde, starting as a press officer and moving into the newsroom as a researcher.

After moving to Radio Scotland’s newsroom, she went on to present a weekly youth programme. Later she fronted an arts television programme for BBC Scotland, and then its flagship radio news programme, Good Morning Scotland. In 1994, English moved to London to report on Westminster for BBC Scotland for three years before moving to PM.

Forsyth, who currently presents The Janice Forsyth Show at the station on Saturday mornings, has a background in the arts. She has co-ordinated press and publicity for a number of organisations and festivals, including Mayfest, the Commonwealth Arts Festival, the Assembly Rooms, the Glasgow International Jazz Festival and the Theatre Royal in Glasgow.

As a broadcaster, she has presented a range of factual series and documentaries for Radio Scotland and contributed to Letter From Scotland and Woman’s Hour on Radio 4. She has also presented for Radio Five Live and has been a frequent contributor to The Fi Glover Show. On Scottish Television, she worked on programmes such as the award-winning NB, Don’t Look Down and the Scottish Arts Debates.

By Wale Azeez

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