Sky Arts TV film crew – and a 10m ‘whale’- at Viking Bay for Landscape Artist series

The Sky Ocean whale will be joined by a film crew tomorrow

Filming will take place in Broadstairs tomorrow (June 26) and Wednesday for the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year programme.

The third and fourth heats  will be taking place at Viking Bay with new co-presenter actor and art-lover, Stephen Mangan, who replaces Frank Skinner, alongside Joan Bakewell.

A giant whale already in place at Victoria Gardens is Plasticus, the Sky Ocean Rescue ‘mascot’. The 10m model is made entirely of plastic waste and is aimed at raising awareness of ocean pollution.

The whale will stay on site behind the clock tower until late Wednesday afternoon. It will be lit up at night.

This is the fourth series of the show, which is produced by London and Glasgow-based independent production company Storyvault Films.

Landscapes first aired two years ago following the enormous success of Sky’s Portrait Artist of the Year, also from Storyvault Films, that captured public imagination when it launched in 2013.

Set up for filming Photo Dan Thomsett

A spokesman for Storyvault Films said: “The beautiful sandy beach at Viking Bay is surrounded by Victorian architecture, a reminder of its popularity during the heyday of one of its most famous visitors Charles Dickens. The busy beach will provide an interesting challenge for our artists, especially if the sun shines. Then from the north of the bay looking south at the harbour wall, fishing boats and the cliffs gives us a classic Kentish coastal landscape – perfect!”

Eight artists, plus wildcards each day, will take part in the heats.

The judges are artist Tai Shan Schierenberg and independent curators Kate Bryan and Kathleen Soriano.

Almost 1600 entries were received for the 2018 competition, giving the judges the difficult task of whittling them down to 48 artists who are taking part in six heats over the summer including three National Trust locations.

The first two heats were at Fountain’s Abbey and Sudley Royal in Yorkshire; third and fourth at Viking Bay, and fifth and sixth heats take place at Inveraray Castle in Scotland. Each heat is open to a further 50 “wildcard” artists who are invited to compete for a potential place in the semi-final.

Thanet council leader Bob Bayford said: “Thanet District Council has been working with the production team to bring this prestigious television programme to Broadstairs.  We would like to thank the local businesses for their cooperation with the crew, as they prepare for filming.  This is the second visit to the area from Landscape Artist of the Year – it was previously here in 2016 – and we are delighted that they have returned, for the chance to showcase Thanet again.”

Landscape Artist of the Year 2018 is due to air on Sky Arts this Autumn.