'Life Drawing Live!' with Joe Lycett — everything you need to know about the BBC special

Joe Lycett will present Life Drawing Live
Joe Lycett will present Life Drawing Live (Image credit: Getty Images)

Life Drawing Live! is a new live masterclass which will be hosted by comedian, presenter and artist Joe Lycett. Last year, BBC4 ran a life drawing programme that proved to be very popular among viewers, with plenty of them trying their hand at sketching during lockdown. In fact, viewers sent in 30,000 artworks from home, prompting the broadcaster to create a new special.

Speaking about the project, Joe Lycett said: “Like many people I found great solace from making art during lockdown and am really excited to help get the nation creative through learning about life drawing. Any nudity is just an added bonus!” 

Here's everything you need to know...

Life Drawing Live! release date

Life Drawing Live! will be released in September on BBC2 and BBC4, but an exact date hasn't yet been confirmed for the two-hour special. We'll be sure to keep you updated.

What should we expect from the programme?

According to the BBC: "this new two-hour special produced by Avanti, is bigger and bolder: broadcasting live across two channels, from English Heritage’s Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, where life models will disrobe and assume poses inspired by great works of art."

On BBC4 there'll be a "Pose Cam" giving a fixed-camera view of each model’s pose, and audiences at home will be encouraged to upload their work during the show. Josie d’Arby will assessing and selecting the work of those drawing from home, while Daphne Todd and Lachlan Goudie will be on hand to guide some famous faces through the poses. 

Meanwhile on BBC2, viewers can watch the amateur artists create their works as the experts share their knowledge and techniques. In addition to this, artist Adebanji Alade will be encouraging people who think drawing is not for them to have a go, so there'll be something for everyone on both channels.

Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor at BBC Arts said: “Life Drawing Live! has been an incredible catalyst for the nation’s amateur artists on BBC Four - where tens of thousands of viewers have taken the time to upload their life drawings. Now we are taking it to the next level. 

"For the first time, it will take over the schedules across two channels, giving viewers the option of watching from the sofa on BBC Two, or to go to BBC Four with paper in hand to participate in the class itself. We hope this unprecedented event will entertain and inspire, and hopefully give audiences the chance to up their skills with the charcoal.” 

Is there a trailer?

There isn't a trailer for the new class as it's a live broadcast, but you can watch the one from 2020 to give you an idea of what to expect.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress