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What's on Sky Arts?

For lovers of art, music and culture, Sky Arts is the channel for you. The channel is becoming free-to-air from Thursday 17th September 2020, so everyone can experience and enjoy more arts and culture from their living rooms.

Whether you’re a big fan of music, fancy learning a bit more about an artist you’ve always loved or are in the mood for something theatrical, Sky Arts has an endless array of arts and culture for you to enjoy for free. 

What’s on Sky Arts? 

Sky Arts puts artists, creatives and public participation centre stage, making arts and culture more accessible for everyone. With the move to free-to-air programming, Sky Arts is taking the chance to add some exciting new original programmes to their schedule, broadening the platform to give artists and arts organisations a great place to showcase their work.  

Sky Arts Director Philip Edgar-Jones had this to say about the decision to become free-to-air: 

“There’s never been a stronger need or demand for the arts, nor a more important time to champion and celebrate creativity. That’s why we’re throwing open the doors to make Sky Arts free for everyone with our renewed focus and mission to increase accessibility and participation across the arts.”  

Plus, to support emerging new talent, Sky Arts is providing bursaries worth £30,000 each to help the arts sector support and mentor a diverse new series of artists – so it’s not just great telly, it’s helping the arts continue to grow and inspire across the UK. 

Here are just a few of the fab Sky original shows coming up which we’re sure all you arty types will love: 

Brian Johnson Meets Dave Grohl 

brian johnson and dave grohl


Join AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson and Foo Fighters lead singer and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl for a meeting of rock royalty. As the two meet at the Foo Fighter’s LA studio, they swap stories about the rock and roll life on the road.  

Danny Dyer on Pinter 

danny dyer on pinter


After being cast in several of Harold Pinter’s plays, including The Homecoming and No Man’s LandDanny Dyer is now taking a look back at his mentor’s work and the influence he had on his life.  

Goldie: The Art That Made Me

goldie the art that made me


Artist and musician Goldie sets off on a personal journey into the world of street art and graffiti. From New York to London, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Lisbon and Miami, Goldie explores how the art form has evolved and meets artists on the scene who continue to push the boundaries of the art form. 

Guy Garvey: From the Vaults 

guy garvey from the vaults


Join Elbow frontman Guy Garvey as he lifts the lid on decades of era-defining musical performances, long lost interviews and unseen studio appearances which have remained hidden in the vaults. Taken from the archives of broadcasters like Tyne Tees, London Weekend Television and Granada Television, you’ll get an inside look at some of Guy’s favourite performers across the 1970s and ‘80s from Britain’s music archives, including The Tube, Harty and Razzmatazz and So It Goes.  

Urban Myths 

urban myths hendrix and handel


Season 4 of Urban Myths presents comedic fictionalised accounts of some of the most strange and unlikely stories and urban myths to come out of Hollywood, the music industry and arts world. The new season will include a star-studded cast including Robbie Coltrane, Kara Tointon, Katherine Ryan and Steve Pemberton, following stories Jimi Hendrix and Handel as housemates separated by time, Joan Rivers and Barbra Streisand starring in a play together, Les Dawson’s adventures in Paris and the tale of Orson Welles going missing in Norwich.  

Portrait Artist of the Year  

portrait artist of the year


Returning for its seventh series, Portrait Artist of the Year will see 24 celebrities from the art world sit for a range of incredibly talented portrait artists, including Normal People’s Paul Mescal, Sir Trevor McDonald and singer Ray BLK. The show will once again be hosted by Stephen Mangan, and will feature artist Tai Shan Schierenberg, curator Kathleen Soriano and art historian Kate Bryan as judges.  

Portrait Artist of the Week 

noel fielding portrait artist of the week


This live-streamed, paint-along version of Portrait Arist of the Year will be streaming on @SkyTV Facebook, as well as on Sky Arts. Hosted by Joan Bakewell, the show features celeb sitters at home, while artists of all levels paint virtually and are judged via social media with the hashtag #MYPAOTW. At the end of each week, a new winner is chosen, giving everyone the chance to become Portrait Artist of the Week. Previous celebrity sitters have included Noel Fielding, Mary Beard, Will Young and Professor Green

The South Bank Show 

south bank show Melvyn Bragg Bernardine Evaristo


Watch as leading figures in the art world, including Bernardine Evaristo, Gillian Anderson and Simon Armitage, discuss their work, influences and inspiration during interviews with Melvyn Bragg. As well as these eye-opening interviews, you’ll also get to enjoy The South Bank Show Originals, featuring famous past episodes with bonus footage and interviews.  

Life and Rhymes 

Celebrate the art of spoken word with some of the UK’s leading performers. Hosted by Benjamin Zephaniah, the show will see poets performing in front of live audiences, plus members of the same audience will get the chance to perform on the open mic.  

No Masks 

The Theatre Royal Stratford and Moonshine Features present this exciting new work based on the real experiences of key workers in East London during the COVID crisis. Written by artistic director Nadia Fall and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, the show is dedicated to the key workers who kept the country going through the pandemic. 

Sky Arts Late 

Sky Arts Late is a new late-night arts and culture show which will air monthly. Hosted by Tim Marlow and a range of other big and emerging names from the arts world, the show will feature topical debates, critical discussions and outstanding live performances. 


Watch Sky Arts on Freesat Channel 147 to enjoy a bit of culture on the sofa. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter to be kept in the loop with all the best TV, and head to our Showcase to find our top picks for what’s on this week.