Over the years I’ve done a lot of work on TV and radio here in the UK as well as in other countries although it’s never been a full-time job. I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in some very important ‘prime-time’ British arts TV programmes, particularly on the BBC. I’ve been on a very wide range of programmes, a few of which have not been to do with art.
On the radio I’ve been on the BBC’s ‘PM’, ‘You and Yours’, and ‘Tuesday Lives’, as well as LBC Radio etc., and on TV on programmes as diverse as ‘The Late Show’, ‘Collector’s Lot’, ‘Mastermind’, ‘Art Fake’, ‘Mad about Monet’, ‘Jim’ll Fix It’, ‘Wartime Farm’, ‘The Big Breakfast’, ‘Omnibus’, ‘Newsnight’ and ‘Art that Shook the World’. You can see my ‘show-reel’ on YouTube. (If you have trouble viewing the video on YouTube, please contact me.)
Although some of these programmes are not recent they do, nevertheless, give a glimpse of the range of work I’ve done.
In most of these programmes I’ve usually been demonstrating and talking about the techniques used to make great art or the motivations behind art. In some that have drama scenes in them I have coached actors on how to look like they’re real artists – or I have stood in for them wearing their clothes when they can’t paint. I have even acted in some drama scenes, for example in The Impressionists series (where I was ‘The man on the train’!), or in another TV production where I played the part of Paul Gauguin – complete with wig and Tahitian skirt or ‘pareo’. I have an ‘Equity’ card so I might as well use it!
In some of these programmes I have also been helping ‘behind the scenes’ by making and using ‘props’ in the drama scenes. See Gallery 6.
Some reviewers have liked what I’ve done on TV…
“I rejoiced to see Leo Stevenson, an exact and scrupulous imitator of old masters and a giver of complicated technical information in classically simple terms” (Brian Sewell reviewing the BBC1 Leonardo series The Divine Michelangelo in the Evening Standard)
“[Leo Stevenson’s] experiment to recreate what the painting would have looked like originally is one of the series’ best revelations” (Review of the BBC2 programme on Uccello’s The Battle of San Romano in The Daily Telegraph)
“Well worth watching” (David Review of the BBC2 programme Raphael – A Mortal God in The Radio Times)
“The experiments by contemporary artists and conservators illuminate brilliantly the genius of his [Raphael’s] artistic method. A real pleasure” (review of the BBC2 programme Raphael – A Mortal God in The Daily Telegraph).