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Mary Beard announced as new Front Row presenter as TV show moves to 11pm slot

Mary Beard. Photo: BBC/Andrew Hayes-Watkins

Historian and broadcaster Mary Beard is to take over presenting BBC2’s Front Row when it returns for a second season as a live show.

The television version of the Radio 4 arts show has been commissioned for a second series but will be moved from a Saturday evening slot, when it was screened at 7.30pm, to Friday nights at 11pm.

The first series, which was shown last autumn, was pre-recorded. However, the second batch of six episodes will be broadcast live, beginning later this spring.

Beard will be the sole presenter on the show, whose presenting duties were previously split between Giles Coren, Nikki Bedi and Amol Rajan.

BBC Radio 4’s Front Row gets TV spin-off [1]

Earlier this month Coren confirmed that he would not be returning for series two [2].

Beard said of her appointment: “I am really excited about this – live and late on a Friday. I think I can promise that it will be edgy, from the heart and from the head.”

Front Row editor Alice Feinstein added: “Mary’s take on the week in arts and culture is bound to be dynamic and exciting as she has the fearless intellect, critical eye and warm wit to host a discussion of the week’s talking points.”

Front Row is commissioned by Patrick Holland, controller of BBC2, and BBC director of arts Jonty Claypole. It is produced by BBC Studios with Tanya Hudson as executive producer.