Lord Bragg rejoins BBC fold

Wednesday, November 11 2009, 14:21 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

Lord Melvyn Bragg will rejoin the BBC in 2011 to front two new documentaries following the end of his long-running ITV1 arts programme The South Bank Show.

In his first major TV work for the corporation in over 30 years, Bragg will front a BBC Two show about the class structure in Britain, including how it has affected culture over the past two centuries. He will also put together a documentary about the King James Bible to mark the 400th anniversary of the text.

Bragg helped to launch BBC Two in 1964 as editor of New Release, which later developed into Arena.

In 1978, he joined LWT to create The South Bank Show, but the arts programme is currently in its final series on ITV1 after being axed from the roster from summer 2010.

"I'm delighted to be going back to BBC television, it's difficult to think of two richer projects and I greatly look forward to working on BBC Two," said Bragg.

Welcoming the move, BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow said: "He'll be working on two programmes for us, for transmission in 2011, and we very much hope this will be just the beginning of an ongoing and fruitful relationship with BBC Two.

"We're still working through the detail of this, but Melvyn intends to examine class - upper class, middle class and working class - through all forms of culture, with a final programme on what has happened to our ideas of class in the last 50 years or so."

Commenting on the King James Bible documentary, Hadlow added: "The King James Bible is a remarkable work of faith and literature that has shaped our language, history and culture.

"Melvyn will be looking at the Bible's extraordinary legacy and how ultimately, as it spread to the new world and the colonies, it helped shaped the world."