Sky Arts announces Michael Parkinson Masterclass with Carlos Acosta

July 17, 2012

Press Releases

Sky Arts announces Michael Parkinson Masterclass with Carlos Acosta

Beginning Tuesday 13 November at 9pm on Sky Arts 1 HD and Sky Go

Sky Arts today announces an extraordinary line-up of guests for Sir Michael Parkinson’s exclusive new series, which will begin on Sky Arts 1 in November. Sir Michael will welcome an astonishing array of guests from across the artistic spectrum and, in his inimitable style, embark on a fascinating and intimate insight into their careers that have set them apart from their contemporaries and propelled them to the very top of their field. Each show features unique performances from the guests who are able to demonstrate the work for which they have become so well-known.

Classical pianist Lang Lang, war photographer Don McCullin, jazz artist Jamie Cullum, principal dancer Carlos Acosta, author Michael Murpurgo and   portrait artist Jonathan Yeo will join Sir Michael Parkinson for an in-depth interview which gets to the heart of how they have honed and perfected their techniques and abilities throughout their careers.

Each programme will also feature questions from the studio audience. The audience is made up of the general public and also students from a vast array of disciplines that have been specially selected to gain an astonishing insight into the subject.

Carlos Acosta’s Masterclass has been filmed in 3D and will be available as a simulcast on Sky 3D.


Carlos Acosta: Tuesday 20 November at 9pm

“Thank God I didn’t become a footballer and thank God I’m a ballet dancer because it’s the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me.” Carlos Acosta was born in Communist Cuba as the 11th child of a truck driver. His family grew up in poverty and as a child he frequently played truant and grew up playing football in streets, dodging trouble and the law. Seemingly destined for a life of delinquency, Acosta turned his life around; winning the Prix de Lausanne aged 16 and becoming a principal dancer at The Royal Ballet aged 25. Carlos reveals how he became a perfectionist at an early age and how he learned to cope with the pain of ballet which he describes as ‘anti-human’. Demonstrating his craft, Carlos performs three different dances and is joined by a Principal dancer of The Royal Ballet, Roberta Marquez for a performance of the final pas de deux from Act One of Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling.


Sir Michael Parkinson is one of the UK’s greatest broadcasters, having worked in the business for over forty years. Having worked extensively on BBC One and ITV for many years, he stepped down from presenting a talk show in 2007. However, far from ‘retired’ the broadcaster published his enormously successful biography in 2008 and embarked on a tour of Australia and New Zealand with his one man show.

The series is Sir Michael’s first involvement with Sky and his first talk show in over five years. “This is the only show that could have tempted me back into my interviewer’s chair,” comments Sir Michael Parkinson. “It is a chance to sit opposite the cream of the arts world and discover the source of their talent and success while witnessing them demonstrating why they’re the best at what they do. It’s a show I’ve always wanted to do.” 

“Sir Michael has a unique, fascinating and much loved interview style and it’s his easy-nature which really resonates with Sky Arts customers,” comments James Hunt, channel Director of Sky Arts. “It’s thanks to his genuine interest in the subject that Sir Michael can makes his guests feel completely at ease and we are confident that, with such an extraordinary calibre of talen involved, this series will prove highly illuminating and wholly entertaining.”

Michael Parkinson: Masterclass reflects Sky’s promise to deliver high-quality, exclusive content to customers, supported by a commitment to increase investment in home-grown programming to £600 million by 2014, an increase of more than 50% over three years. The series was filmed at Sky Studios.


About Sky Arts

Sky is the only broadcaster in the UK and Ireland with channels dedicated solely to the arts, with 48 hours of the best arts content from around the world across Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts 2 daily. Recent highlights include the latest season of the Met Opera, Chekhov Comedy Shorts, a season of brand new plays starring the cream of British comedic talent, the world’s first opera in 3D and The South Bank Sky Arts Awards.

Sky Arts also seeks to connect with culture on the ground; creating and collaborating with the best of the arts in the UK and Ireland to bring new experiences to life. The flagship show, The Book Show, now goes to four literary festivals including Hay and Cheltenham. Sky Arts Creative Wish is part of Sky Arts Ignition Series which launched in in 2011 to invest in the arts landscape of the UK. The Series will seek to collaborate with six arts organisations over the next three years in the creation of brand new works; Sky Arts Ignition Series: Futures Fund will support five young artists with a bursary of £30,000 each, enabling Sky Arts to back the creation of new works of art as well as nurture   emerging talent. Sky Arts also encourages new formats and methods for  accessing opera; beaming the world’s first live opera in 3D to cinemas across the UK and Ireland from ENO.

About Sky 3D

Since launching as Europe’s first domestic 3D channel in October 2010, Sky 3D has broken new ground across a range of genres, including natural history, live music, the arts, sports and movies. Highlights have included David Attenborough’s BAFTA winning Flying Monsters and The Bachelor King 3D, a number of summer music festivals, opera and ballet, Kylie Minogue live from the O2, Got to Dance, the 3D TV world premieres of Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and the Toy Story Trilogy as well as more than 150 live sports broadcasts including the UEFA Champions League final, the Ryder Cup and US Masters golf.

Sky 3D is the UK’s only dedicated 3D TV channel and is available at no extra cost to Sky World HD customers with a 3D TV. Sky World HD customers are those taking our Entertainment, Entertainment Extra, Sports, Movies and HD Packs. Sky 3D is compatible with all 3D TVs and works with both ‘active’ and ‘passive’ 3D formats.

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