AVANTI Media’s Life Drawing Live! heading to Australia

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AVANTI Media has sold its BBC Four Life Drawing Live! format and programmes to SBS in Australia.

As well as producing the format for air in July, SBS has also bought the two previous two-hour-long, Life Drawing Live! programmes that aired to critical acclaim on BBC Four. It’s recent edition was praised publicly by Tony Hall as part of the BBC’s commitment to saving the arts.

Presenter and artist, Josie d’Arby hosted both programmes, the first episode transmitted in February and the second in May, which was produced during lockdown.

The ground-breaking format returned after AVANTI Media recognised an opportunity to draw the UK’s four nations together in the biggest-ever live, life drawing class when there has never been a better time to collectively get viewers’ creative juices following.

Josie was joined by experts Lachlan Goudie, Diana Ali and Nicky Philipps to share their passion and knowledge while viewers could watch and draw along at home and in the studio, capturing a series of life model poses, based on classical works of art.

Avanti Media CEO and Joint Executive Producer/Director, Emyr Afan, said: “We are extremely proud of Life Drawing Live! and the direct impact that it had on people around the UK. The viewer engagement was extraordinary and unlike anything that’s been seen before. It’s astonishing to think that in May, more than 26,000 drawings were sent in from amateur artists who were drawing along to the programme and we are thrilled that viewers in Australia will be able to get the same experience.”

SBS Director of TV and Online Content, Marshall Heald said: “SBS is excited to bring Life Drawing Live to Australian audiences. Not only is it entertaining, but it’s instructive and inclusive. We’re also thrilled to continue commissioning content in the current landscape. We’re very much focused on doing what we can to support the local sector and ensure we all come through in the best position possible.”

Afan continued: “In addition the fact that both the pitching, the producing and the global sale of Life Drawing Live! has all happened during lockdown makes this a particular triumph for the team – everyone has worked so hard to produce a Covid-19 secure production which was still engaging to viewers.”

Pitching both to BBC Four and also selling to Australia was achieved with an interactive 3-D set presentation which enabled commissioners and decision makers to truly visualise how producing the format in a Covid-safe environment was deliverable without compromising the viewer experience.”

AVANTI Media also worked with First Option to produce a Covid Protocol Document which has since been rolled out to other productions across AVANTI’s slate.

Life Drawing Live! was commissioned Mark Bell for BBC Four. The Executive producer was Sally Dixon and Emyr Afan.


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