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Sky Arts reveals more information about free-to-view TV channel

The free channel is coming next month

Swan Lake
© Vanessa Hills (More2Screen)

Sky Arts has revealed more information about its free-to-view TV channel coming next month.

Set to premiere on 17 September, Sky Arts will be available on Freeview channel 11 for UK viewers, and Freesat channel 147.

Initial programming for the series will include Tim Marlow's Sky Arts Late, a monthly show that will include debates, performances and more from the arts sector. The first will be inspired by the nation's ongoing recovery from Covid-19.

The channel will air the ENO's drive-in performances of La bohème at Alexandra Palace, as well as the co-production of No Masks with Theatre Royal Stratford East – you can find out more about that here.

Danny Dyer, who has performed in a variety of Harold Pinter plays, will look back on the iconic playwright's work in an original piece 12 years on from Pinter's death.

A new series of Urban Myths, starring Steve Pemberton, Robbie Coltrane, Kara Tointon, Jessica Barden and Katherine Ryan, will shed new light on some of the most iconic artists of last century, including Jimi Hendrix (played by rising star Zach Wyatt), Joan Rivers (Ryan) and Barbra Streisand (Barden).

In November 2020, Melvyn Bragg will interview the likes of Bernardine Evaristo, Benjamin Zephaniah, Gillian Anderson and Simon Armitage, while Jude Law will appear in Punchdrunk's immersive experience spectacular The Third Day.

Balletboyz's double bill Them/Us will be aired, as will Matthew Bourne's Olivier Award-winning take on Swan Lake.

Director Philip Edgar-Jones said: "There's never been a stronger need or demand for the arts, nor a more important time to champion and celebrate creativity. That's why we're throwing open the doors to make Sky Arts free for everyone with our renewed focus and mission to increase accessibility and participation across the arts."