The South Bank Show Production Archive - SBSPA (1978-2010) is a nationally valuable audio-visual collection. First aired in 1978, the South Bank Show is a longstanding, popular British arts television programme presented by Melvyn Bragg and broadcast by ITV for over 30 years before its cancellation in 2010 (and subsequent revival on Sky Arts in 2012). The collection offers insight into British arts programming over three decades, as the Show sought to celebrate and interrogate both high and popular art forms, and the classical and the new in culture, both home-grown and from across the globe.
Comprising approximately 9000 audio-visual items spanning 33 years, the SBSP archive includes material recorded for around 520 episodes and specials, including unseen rushes and unedited interviews. The collection reflects the rapid changes in broadcast media technologies with holdings including 16mm film and 2” reel to reel audio tapes, through to digibeta and more recent formats such as DVCAM.
Subjects covered include Alan Bennett, Carol Ann Duffy, Caryl Phillips, Courtney Pine, Ruth Rendell, Phillip Pullman, Sarah Waters, Shakespeare, Tolkien and Zaha Hadid.
Viewing the Collection
Over 660 films and videos have been digitised from the SBSPA Collection and are available to University of Leeds staff and students for educational purposes, meaning: research, study, or teaching. University of Leeds staff and students are required to log in with their University of Leeds username and password to view footage.Usage and access outside of the above purposes requires permission from ITV.
Catalogue records for videos containing digitised film and video content can be identified by a blue bar stating ‘contains digital media’ and contain a link to the digitised content. To view only these records search results can be filtered by choosing 'including digital video' to view digitised content only.
Equipment is not available to view the master physical recordings. Digitisation is required prior to access. Digitisation requests for SBSPA are currently paused.
Using the Collection
Standard resolution non-broadcast quality copies of material are also available to University of Leeds staff and students upon request and will be supplied under a CC-BY-NC license for educational purposes only. Copyright remains with ITV Studios Ltd. and any use outside of these terms requires their permission.
How the Collection is Arranged
Material is arranged by series number and title or subject of episode with each recording bearing a title relating to the episode and where appropriate, further information on it's content.
Titles do not always reveal much about the content of a recording - while some episodes focused on long-form interviews with Bragg, others were comprised of multiple interviews, performances, rehearsals, street footage and archive material. Documentaries came from Ken Russell (on classical music and musicians), Tony Palmer with Isolde films, and Naomi Wright, among others.
Please contact us if you have any further access and re-use enquiries for the South Bank Show Production Archive.
Further information on the series in general can be found on the South Bank Show wikipedia page.