“Portrait Artist Of The Year has been a fascinating piece of television to work on. Six years ago I stepped onto the set and was completely blown away by the sheer size of the production. I was the presenters (Frank Skinner and Joan Bakewell) runner for four series, and the longer I worked on the show the more curious I became about all the work that happens off camera to make a TV show itself. The iconic set of Portrait Artist of the Year felt like a magical world where two art forms were coming together… a sort of art within art feeling. There we were, capturing artists, who in turn were capturing their sitter… so I thought it would be amazing to add yet another layer to the complexities- by filming the filming of the capturing! I knew that others would be just as interested in the process as I was.
By sneaking around on set I’ve been lucky enough to hoover up all the juicy bits surrounding this massive production. From chatting to the sitters about how hard it is to just, “sit” (yes, really!) to being able to ask the judges how on EARTH they make their decisions, and chatting to friendly artists hanging around on set all day- who are just enjoying watching the program play out in real life. It's been a wonderful experience giving a small insight of TV production to others- which is indeed an art itself.
Very much looking forward to cracking on with Portrait Artist of the year 2020… and sneaking around on set some more.”
Behind The Scenes: Portrait Artist Of The Year 2019 at the Wallace Collection
Behind The Scenes: Catch up with Joe Lycett at Celebrity Portrait Artist Of The Year