Landscape Artist of the Year
The fifth series of this joyous show finished transmitting on Sky Arts just before Christmas......pick it up on catch up or NOW TV if you missed any episodes.  Spectacular locations included Plymouth and Cromarty, ending with a beautiful night-shoot at Battersea Power Station.  And whatever you do, don't miss the winner's film - you've never seen Venice looking so stunning.   We're now actively on the hunt for locations for next year and inviting artists to enter the competition.  For more info, go to the skyartsartistoftheyear website.
Portrait Artist of the Year
The sixth series of the brilliant show begins transmitting on Sky Arts in January, and it's even better than previous runs.   We're in our new home at Battersea Arts Centre, and once again Stephen Mangan and Joan Bakewell welcome talented artists to paint portraits of some of the most interesting people you can imagine.   From Mike Leigh to John Cooper Clark, from Len Goodman to Russell Tovey.  The celebrity sitters are a pantheon of talent.   We're also gearing up for the seventh series, so if you'd like to enter, go to the website.  You never know - it could change your life (for the better!)




Secrets of the Conqueror


An interesting thing happens when you make a documentary or write a book about something that happened in living memory; other people who know something about the subject contact you and tell you the things you got wrong, and other things you didn't know when you did your own research.  It's in part a joy, and in part it's frustrating too.  "Why couldn't I have found you when I was writing the bloody thing?"  Secrets of the Conqueror has been published for three years, and only recently I have heard from several of the key people who were on the submarine at the time I am writing about.   They've been able to fill in gaps and add colour and detail.  Luckily for me, no-one since publication has told me that I got anything of significance wrong - so that's great.  It's just frustrating that, if I'd known then what I know now, the book would be more complete.  Maybe an update for a new edition?  I will give it some thought.


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