South Bank Sky Arts Awards

Sir Tom Jones, Jason Isaacs, Tracey Emin, Rob Brydon and Sir Tom Stoppard to present South Bank Sky Arts Awards

Transmisson: 1 May at 9pm on Sky Arts 1 HD

Sir Tom Jones, Jason Isaacs, Tracey Emin, Rob Brydon, Sir Tom Stoppard and Sir Terry Pratchett are among the names confirmed to present awards at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards on Tuesday 1 May.

Imelda Staunton, Wayne Sleep, Lily Cole, Ian Bostridge, and Michael Ball will also present 2012’s South Bank Sky Arts Awards winners with the Anish Kapoor designed trophy. The awards are one of the world’s most coveted arts awards, with the presenters joining host Melvyn Bragg to honour the best of British culture and achievement across the arts.

The Times Breakthrough Award, which honours the best new artistic talent, will return for 2012. This year it will be presented by violinist Nicola Benedetti. The award for Outstanding Achievement, in association with The Dorchester, will be presented by playwright Sir Tom Stoppard.

The awards will also see performances by the award-winning trumpeter Alison Balsom, jazz singer Gregory Porter and new opera sensation Noah Stewart to an audience of 300 guests from across the arts.



  • Sir Tom Jones: Pop Music
  • Alison Balsom: Classical Music
  • Wayne Sleep: Dance
  • Sir Tom Stoppard: The Dorchester Award for Outstanding Achievement
  • Lily Cole: Film
  • Rob Brydon: Comedy
  • Sir Terry Pratchett: Literature:
  • Tracey Emin: Visual Art
  • Jason Isaacs: TV Drama
  • Nicola Benedetti: The Times Breakthrough Award
  • Ian Bostridge: Opera
  • Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton: Theatre

The televised awards will broadcast that evening on Sky Arts 1 HD at 9pm and on the move with Sky Go.

This year also sees the return of The South Bank Show to screens from 27th May, following the announcement in 2010 that it would no longer air on terrestrial television. This iconic series adds to the growing roster of original British content across Sky’s entertainment channel portfolio.

“We are delighted that so many of the most talented people from across the arts in this country are able to join us to celebrate the awards this year,” comments Melvyn Bragg. “It is testament to a particularly strong year for the arts that these performers and presenters are so keen to lend their support, both to the awards and our world class list of nominees. At a time when the arts are under pressure in this country, it’s quite useful to be reminded what a roaring success the whole sector is.”



Classical MusicLlŷr Williams: Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Cycle at Edinburgh FestivalHarrison Birtwistle with Boston Symphony Orchestra: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra at Boston Symphony Hall

Sir Colin Davis and the LSO: Nielsen’s Symphony Cycle at the Barbican



Fresh Meat, Channel 4

Twenty Twelve, BBC4

Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, BBC2


Zoo Nation, Some Like it Hip Hop, Sadlers Wells

Akram Khan, Desh, The Curve

Arthur Pita, The Metamorphosis, Linbury Studio



Attack The Block


We Need To Talk About Kevin



Pure, Andrew Miller

Charles Dickens: A Life, Claire Tomalin

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson


The Damnation of Faust, ENO

Mignon, Buxton Festival

Heart of Darkness, Linbury, Royal Opera


Pop Music

Adele, 21

PJ Harvey, Let England Shake

Kate Bush, 50 Words For Snow


Matilda, RSC,

One Man Two Guvnors, National Theatre

Constellations, Royal Court

TV Drama

Sherlock, BBC 1

This is England ’88, Channel 4

Top Boy, Channel 4

Visual Art

Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman,  British Museum

David Chipperfield: The Hepworth Wakefield

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture , Royal Academy


  • Comedy: Adam Riches
  • Classical music: David Bates
  • Dance: Yonah Acosta
  • Film: Felicity Jones
  • Literature: Stephen Kelman
  • Opera: Sophie Bevan
  • Pop music: Michael Kiwanuka
  • Theatre: Joseph Drake
  • TV Drama: Jessica Raine
  • Visual Art: Haroon Mirza

Outstanding Achievement in association with The Dorchester: To be announced 

 For further information on the nominees, please visit


The judges of this year’s South Bank Sky Arts Awards are Gilly Greenwood, Chair, Peter Aspden, Arts Correspondent of Financial Times; Baz Bamigboye, Entertainment Columnist & Arts Reviewer of Daily Mail;  Richard Brooks, Arts Editor of The Sunday Times; Matt Cain, Culture Editor at Channel 4 John Cassy, Director, Sky 3D; Sarah Donaldson, Arts Editor of The Observer; Manisha Ferdinand, Head of PR Sky Arts & Sky Movies; Boyd Hilton, TV & Reviews Editor of Heat Magazine; Alex O’Connell, Arts & Entertainment Editor of The Times; Archie Powell, Documentary Filmmaker.

Follow on twitter @skyarts and see


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