Portrait Artist of the Year 2022: Sky Arts release date, and portrait sitters including Lulu and Bruno Tonioli

Sky Arts competition Portrait Artist of the Year, hosted by Stephen Mangan and Joan Bakewell returns for season 9. Celebrity sitters include Lulu and Suggs

Season nine of Portrait Artist of the Year on Sky Arts will see amateur and professional artists compete for a prestigious prize as 21 famous faces sit to be painted. The contestants will take part in seven heats, spending four hours painting their celebrity sitter - the best artist from each heat will win a spot in the semi-finals.

The final will be filmed at the National Portrait Gallery, and the winner will gain a £10,000 commission to paint comedian and Rings of Power star Lenny Henry - the piece will then be exhibited at the gallery. And the winner will receive a £10,000 commission to paint a portrait of Sir Lenny Henry, which will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery as part of their reopening in 2023.

Show hosts Joan Bakewell and Stephen Mangan

Who are the hosts of Portrait Artist of the Year?

Joan Bakewell

Joan Bakewell is a journalist, presenter, and a Labour peer in the House of Lords. She has presented several current affairs and social issues programmes for the BBC including Heart of the Matter and Taboo. She has worked as a columnist for several national papers including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Independent, and The Times.

Stephen Mangan

Mangan is a comedian and actor known for appearing in  sketch show Green Wing and sitcom Episodes. He has also taken on dramatic roles, playing Nathan in The Split and Alastair Caldwell in Rush alongside Chris Hemsworth.

Mangan said: “Having the opportunity to watch such skilled artists at work as they paint our wonderful – and incredibly patient – celebrity sitters is always a pleasure and this series is no different… We’ve got such a fantastic mix of familiar faces all taking the hot seat in front of the easel, with each resulting portrait so varied and unique. Viewers are in for a treat.”

Who are the Portrait Artist of the Year judges?

Tai Shan Schierenberg - A portrait artist and joint winner of the 1989 BP Portrait Award.  He studied art at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and London’s Slade School of Art. He has been a judge on Portrait Artist of the year since the first season and is currently Head of Painting at The Art Academy in London.

Portrait Artist of the Year judges Kathleen Sorianno, Tai Shan Schierenberg, and Kate Bryan

Kathleen Soriano - An arts curator and writer, Soriano worked as Head of Exhibitions and Collections at the National Portrait Gallery from 1989 - 2006. She has also worked at the Royal Academy of Arts, and curated major exhibitions including the London Art Fair’s 30th Anniversary, and Australia, which featured Aboriginal art.

Kate Bryan - An art historian and curator, Bryan is best known for presenting the Sky Arts series Inside Arts. She has also featured as a contributor on The Culture Show and Newsnight, and has presented several special arts documentaries including The Mystery of the Lost Caravaggio.

Who is sitting for portraits on Portrait Artist of the Year?

  • Henning Wehn - comedian
  • Alex Brooker - The Last Leg panelist
  • Big Zuu - rapper and DJ
  • Lulu - singer
  • Bruno Tonioli - Strictly Come Dancing judge
  • Nick Grimshaw - BBC Radio 1 presenter
  • Miquita Oliver - TV presenter
  • Dame Stella Rimington - former director of MI5
  • Suggs - Madness singer
  • Elizabeth Day - novelist
  • Jim Carter - Downton Abbey actor
  • Eve Muirhead - Olympic gold medal winner in curling
  • Phil Manzanera - lead guitarist for  Roxy Music, 801, and Quiet Sun
  • Khadija Mellah - jockey
  • YolanDa Brown - saxophonist
  • Helen Sharman - cosmonaut
  • Alexis French - soul musician
  • Lemar - singer
  • Candice Carty-Williams - writer
  • Benjamin Zephaniah - writer 
  • Ellie Simmonds - Paralympic gold medal winning swimmer

When is Portrait Artist of the Year on TV?

Portrait Artist of the Year will air on Sky Arts on Wednesday 5 October 8pm and is available to watch on streaming service NOW. Episodes will be released at the same time weekly.