BBC axes The Review Show after 20 years

Martha Kearney, presenter of The Review Show.
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BBC4’s flagship arts programme The Review Show is to be cancelled.

It will make its final broadcast after 20 years this weekend when it will feature Harry Hill’s newly-opened X Factor musical I Can’t Sing.

The decision comes just days after director general Tony Hall said he was to place culture “at the very heart of the BBC” and promised “more arts on the BBC than ever before” with an additional £2.75 million of funding.

The programme began on BBC2 in 1994 as a spin-off from The Late Show and is currently presented by Kirsty Wark and Martha Kearney. It was moved from its weekly slot to a monthly timetable on BBC4 last April where it lost 80% of its viewers, reaching an audience as low as 76,000.

A corporation spokesman said: “The series has made a valuable contribution over many years but as outlined this week, the BBC has ambitious plans for arts on TV, radio and online. Review will continue to have a place across the BBC alongside more topical arts coverage.”