Alan Bennett
Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett and Kate Tempest are among the performers and writers who will be featured as part of BBC Two's arts programming this autumn.

The channel will dedicate Saturday night programming to the arts, with performances, interviews and documentaries running each week.

Kate Tempest will perform alongside other spoken word talents in the inaugural Performance Live on 1 October. Tempest will share stories from her latest work Let Them Eat Chaos, about seven people living in south east London who all find themselves awake at 4.18am.

Performance Live is a series of programmes produced with BBC Two in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre and the Arts Council. The programmes feature original commissions spanning theatre, dance, comedy, spoken-word, live-art and will be rooted in different parts of England.

The BBC Two documentary, Alan Bennett's Diaries, focuses on the playwright and his life and work. The show will also include a new film about the writer followed by an exclusive Q&A with Bennett, broadcast from his local community library in Primrose Hill. This will be in cinemas across the country on 16 November.

Elsewhere, Julie Walters will narrate The Secret Life of Sue Townsend Aged 68 ¾ and the actress will also interview the playwright Willy Russell in When Julie Walters Met Willy Russell. BalletBoyz's feature film Young Men will also be screened in full.

Railway Nation: Across Britain In A Day will be a programme celebrating Britain in verse and is a modern twist on WH Auden and Benjamin Britten's The Night Mail. The show will see poets including Sabrina Mahfouz, Michael Symmons Roberts, Liz Berry and Andrew McMillan interpret human stories of people on a train from London to Glasgow.

Patrick Holland, channel editor, BBC Two, said: "From Civilisation to The Late Show, BBC Two has always been the flagship channel for arts on BBC Television, combining intelligent authorship with broad appeal, topical enquiry with entertainment. Great arts programming has the power to bring audiences to the cutting-edge, as well as to much-loved art and artists."