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Wednesday, 29 November, 2000, 13:25 GMT
Newsnight gets arts slot
Newsnight team
Newsnight is to incorporate the arts slot from February
BBC Two's weekly arts round-up, Review, is to join Newsnight next year in a move to raise the profile of the BBC's arts coverage.

The move will double the number of Review programmes to 50 across the year.

The show will run all year round on Fridays as Newsnight Review.

From February 2001, Newsnight Review will broadcast live every Friday from the Newsnight studio, from 11pm to 11.30pm.

A regular Review critics' panel will reflect on the arts week and cast a critical eye over the latest books, exhibitions, films and plays.

Review's first incarnation was as Late Review in 1994.

Mark Lawson
Mark Lawson has presented Review since it began
It continued on BBC Two in the late evening schedules until March 2000 when, as part of the launch of BBC Two's Art Zone, it became Review and occupied a peak time Sunday evening slot.

Average audiences leapt from 400,000 to 600,000, but the pre-watershed slot meant some scenes from films and plays could not be shown, or even discussed.

"It's very exciting that review and discussion of the arts and culture has been given a place in one of the world's best current affairs programmes," said host Mark Lawson.

"Review has always felt happiest to me as a late-night programme - the best place for passionate and quirky argument - and the doubling of the number of editions is hugely welcome."

As well as presenting Newsnight Review, Lawson will continue to present Radio 4's weekday arts programme Front Row.

Jane Root, controller of BBC Two, said the new programme underlined the BBC's continued commitment to the arts.

"This places the arts firmly where they belong - as an integral part of the fabric of the television channels," she said.

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