Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist: BBC Two release date, trailer, how to watch - and what is the Royal Academy?

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Joe Lycett celebrates making and creating art in this guide to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2022

Joe Lycett is presenting a new programme about the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition called Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist.

The exhibition itself is the world’s oldest open submission exhibition – meaning anyone can submit art for consideration – and Lycett has described his BBC Two programme as a tribute to creativity and making art.

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Here’s everything you need to know about Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist.

What is it about?

The official BBC synopsis explains that “Joe will bring the contest to BBC audiences by exploring the stages of the judging process and by delving into the remarkable artworks and backstories of entrants hoping to realise their dream of making it onto the RA walls.

“Joining them at the various stages of their adventures, Joe is there to meet the artists as they drop off their works for further judging, as well as on nerve-racking results day, and also celebrate their success when the chosen few first get to see their works hanging in the Royal Academy galleries.”

Who is Joe Lycett?

L-R: Comedian Joe Lycett, wearing floral dungarees and smiling, sat on a white art display plinth in the Royal Academy. The walls are yellow and covered in framed paintings; a clay bust of a man’s head, smiling. It has been painted, with blonde hair and blue eyes  (Credit: BBC Studios/Richard Ansett; Joe Lycett)L-R: Comedian Joe Lycett, wearing floral dungarees and smiling, sat on a white art display plinth in the Royal Academy. The walls are yellow and covered in framed paintings; a clay bust of a man’s head, smiling. It has been painted, with blonde hair and blue eyes  (Credit: BBC Studios/Richard Ansett; Joe Lycett)
L-R: Comedian Joe Lycett, wearing floral dungarees and smiling, sat on a white art display plinth in the Royal Academy. The walls are yellow and covered in framed paintings; a clay bust of a man’s head, smiling. It has been painted, with blonde hair and blue eyes (Credit: BBC Studios/Richard Ansett; Joe Lycett) | L-R: BBC Studios/Richard Ansett; Joe Lycett)

Joe Lycett is a comedian and presenter. You might know him from appearances on panel shows like Taskmaster, Would I Lie to You, and Mock the Week. Otherwise, you might recognise him from his consumer advice show Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, where he’ll belligerently and humorously bother big companies to try and protect consumer rights. He’s also the current host of Channel 4 holiday series Travel Man, having taken over from Richard Ayoade.

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Lycett has previously entered the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition himself, making a bust out of an empty pringles can and clay. It’s called Chris, and you can buy it from Lycett’s website for £12,500,000.

What is the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition?

The Royal Academy is a collective of artists and architects, based in London, elected by their peers based on their achievements in their respective fields. They present collections of art in free displays around Piccadilly, which sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The Summer Exhibition itself has been held annually since 1768. It’s the largest and longest running open submission exhibition in the world; previous artists featured include David Hockney RA, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tracey Emin, and Wim Wenders.

When is the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition?

The 2022 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is being held from 21 June – 21 August.

The theme this year is “climate”.

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Which artists are featured?

The official BBC synopsis reveals that Joe Lycett will spend time with a number of artists, “from a self-taught photorealist to a retired primary school teacher, a moonlighting web designer and a contemporary Islamic artist.”

It continues to note that “there are veterans of 20 years’ rejection and first-time success stories.”

Of the 15,000 works submitted for the 2022 Summer Exhibition year, only 900 are displayed in the final show.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, there is! This trailer was released during an episode of The One Show earlier this week.

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A longer clip from the special was also shared on twitter, which offers some insight into Lycett’s own art and shows him meeting some of the artists featured in the Royal Exhibition 2022.

When is Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist on and when can I watch it?

Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist will air on BBC Two on Saturday 23 July at 8pm. It will also be available to view and stream on BBC iPlayer.

It’s a one-off special, an hour long.

Why should I watch it?

It’s one to watch if you’re a fan of Joe Lycett, but also worth checking out if you’ve enjoyed previous art shows, and want to learn more about this particular exhibition series.

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