Cambridge classicist Mary Beard is to present the forthcoming series of television programme Front Row.
The cultural broadcaster will be at the helm of the BBC Two series as it airs – for the first time – live on Friday nights at 11pm.
Beard, 63, and her guests will discuss the big ideas behind the week’s artistic developments, with the series acting as a forum for cultural debate, critical reviews and interviews.
She said: “I am really excited about this – live and late on a Friday!
“I think I can promise that it will be edgy, from the heart and from the head!”
Alice Feinstein, commissioner of Front Row, said Beard’s take on the week in arts and culture “is bound to be dynamic and exciting as she has the fearless intellect, critical eye and warm wit to host a discussion of the week’s talking points”.
BBC Two controller Patrick Holland said: “Mary Beard is one of the most thought provoking intellectuals in the UK and a defining voice for BBC Two.
“I am delighted that she’s agreed to take the lead with this evolution of Front Row on Two.”
Beard presented the sixth episode of Front Row last October, where she explored The Roman Singularity exhibition at the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London and reviewed Jean-Rene Lemione’s contemporary reimagining of Greek legend Medea.
She is also presenting two programmes in the forthcoming landmark BBC Arts series, Civilisations, on BBC Two as well as an additional programme to accompany the series called Civilisations On Your Doorstep.
Front Row will be broadcast live from this spring.