Mary Beard to tackle post-lockdown life in new series of Inside Culture

Dame Mary Beard will ask how the arts can help us emerge from a year of lockdown in the new series of Inside Culture.

Part of the BBC Culture in Quarantine series, the topical art show will see broadcaster and historian Dame Mary, 66, joined by a range of famous figures as she tackles questions about memory, travel and age.

She will begin the series by exploring how we remember, both as individuals and societies, with the help of architect Sir David Adjaye, poet Lemn Sissay, actress Jane Horrocks and more.

Foyle Young Poets of the Year
Poet Lemn Sissay (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Former Top Gear host James May, musician Gary Numan, historian David Olusoga, comic Rosie Jones and author William Dalrymple will help as she looks at what is lost from arts and culture when we cannot travel, whether because of a pandemic or climate change.

Dame Mary will also examine what it means to act your age, from the clothes we wear to the music we listen to.

Academic, broadcaster and critic Shahidha Bari will guest present an episode on self-expression, while Dame Mary will interview a special unannounced guest about their life and career.

David Olusoga interview
David Olusoga (Ian West/PA)

Dame Mary said: “In this series we are moving out of lockdown (or so we hope) and exploring some topical and some perennial themes: from how we remember to how we travel (in our imagination as much as reality).

“And we’ll be asking the question ‘should you act your age’, and what does getting older do to the music we listen to or the clothes we wear.

“And Shahidha Bari takes on the role of guest presenter, as she explores nightclub culture in an episode dedicated to self-expression”.

Inside Culture returns to BBC Two on May 14 at 7.30pm.