The BBC has launched a slate of adult educational courses on a wide range of topics, hosted by some of the biggest names in their respective fields.


The courses fall under the brand new BBC Maestro service, with each one consisting of hours of content carefully crafted by the celebrity star.

The service has launched today with four offerings, including a songwriting course from Take That icon Gary Barlow, and a course from bestselling author David Walliams on how to write stories for children.

Gary Barlow said: "I’ve been studying composition, songwriting and performance for the better part of 30 years. I’ve learnt a few things along the way; things that help the process, things that inspire the process. Hopefully this course will inspire you. Maybe you’re going to write something today that is going to change the course of your life forever."

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio is also part of the launch line-up with a course on writing drama for television, and chef Marco Pierre White gives cooking inspiration in a course covering simple but delicious meals.

Jed Mercurio added: "The great thing about being a writer is that anyone can do it. You just need an imagination and to know how to get started. You have the first one covered, and I’d like to help you with the second."

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Filmed in 4K high definition, each course consists of hours of slickly produced content, comprised of 20 to 40 easily digested lessons that will offer insight into the craft and process of each professional.

BBC Maestro is intended to help viewers excel at their passions in life, offering instructional and motivational advice from top experts to help everyone from complete novices to amateur enthusiasts.

The BBC Maestro website allows you to browse through the notes of each course to see exactly what it contains, with full access to the videos and classes will cost a one-time fee of £80.

Coming soon to the service are a number of other courses fronted by prolific creative figures, including a writing for young adults course by Noughts + Crosses author Malorie Blackman, and an acting course from The Crown star Helena Bonham Carter.

Blackman said: "“I’ve been a professional author for over thirty years and have written over 70 books to date which has given me a good handle on the art, craft and business of writing. In this course we’re going to explore all aspects of writing for young adults - from ideas to the completed, published book and everything in between.

"I’ll be sharing the practices that have worked for me, the ways of working that perhaps didn’t but which might work for you, the practical and the fantastical. This is a course for any and all aspiring children’s book writers."

Other upcoming courses include Heston Blumenthal on ingenious cooking at home, Ozwald Boateng on fashion design, Julia Donaldson on writing children's picture books, Peter Jones on entrepreneurship, Sir Tim Rice on writing and performing musical theatre, Vineet Bhatia on Indian cuisine and Jancis Robinson on understanding wine.

The courses can be viewed on most devices with an internet connection and a web browser, such as mobile, tablet, laptops, and desktop computers.

BBC Maestro is an independent business which is not taxpayer funded in any way.


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