Mariella Frostrup and the Reverend Richard Coles have been named as the new presenters of the second series of BBC talent show The Big Painting Challenge.
The duo take over from Richard Bacon and Sherlock star Una Stubbs who fronted the 2015 series in a revamped format.
In the new six-part series, ten amateur artists from a variety of backgrounds undertake an intensive, six-week artistic ‘boot camp’ in a bid to perfect their skills and be crowned the overall champion.
The new series will also introduce the Atelier system which came to prevalence in the Renaissance era and produced such artistic greats as Leonardo da Vinci.
It sees two mentors – Pascal Anson and Diana Ali – guide contenders through various painting challenges in separate studios.
In each episode the artists are asked to produce a piece of work in a different discipline. The finished products are exhibited and judged by members of the public as well as the judges, Dr. David Dibosa, Daphne Todd OBE and Lachlan Goudie, who make the ultimate decision on which candidate is eliminated.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.