The highlights of Derry’s year as City of Culture in 2013 will be marked in a special new monthly series of one-hour programmes, Lesser Spotted Culture, UTV have announced.
In each monthly programme, Derry-born presenter Joe Mahon - the host of UTV’s popular, long-running series, Lesser Spotted Ulster - will explore events with particular significance or resonance for the city - in terms of its own unique history, heritage and culture.
Produced by Westway Films, the first episode of the series will air in January – featuring coverage of the opening events and a flavour of what is to come in the months ahead. This will include ‘The Music Promise’ where every child in the city will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; ‘ Portrait of a City’ which will provide one of the most ambitious digital archives of a community ever conceived and a tour of some of the city’s most outstanding architectural features – new and old.
Speaking at the launch, Joe Mahon said: “Lesser Spotted Culture will adopt a relaxed, entertaining but always respectful approach when talking to local people and internationally renowned artists alike.
“A fabulous line-up of artistic and cultural activities has been planned for this year, many of them of international importance and prestige. Our series will highlight some of these events and put them in the context of the history, culture and natural environment of the city and surrounding areas. Events like The Turner Prize, the Field Day premieres and the All-Ireland Fleadh will be hugely popular but, underlying the glamour and glitter of such highlights, there will be a range of activities that emanate from the indigenous culture of the city.”
Michael Wilson, Managing Director of UTV Television said: “Lesser Spotted Ulster is one of the most popular series ever shown on UTV, so to take it off air for a year while Joe produces and presents Lesser Spotted Culture shows just how much UTV want to support Derry-Londonderry as it celebrates this special year.
“We are confident that Lesser Spotted Culture will prove equally captivating and appealing for our viewers. There is a wonderful programme of events planned and nobody better placed than Joe to uncover the gems of this year for our audiences on TV, online and on the go, via our new app which we will be launching in 2013.”
Shona McCarthy Chief Executive, The Culture Company 2013 said: “Lesser Spotted Culture is a fantastic platform to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the city, and the diverse cultural offer, especially next year during our year as UK City of Culture.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with UTV and Joe Mahon to deliver a wonderful series, and couldn’t think of a better person than Joe to take the lead. It will undoubtedly be a highlight on the 2013 monthly calendar, and I for one will be tuning in.”