Melvyn Bragg to interview Dizzee Rascal in South Bank Show special


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The Independent Online

Melvyn Bragg is resurrecting The South Bank Show with an interview of Dizzee Rascal in a new documentary on the rise of the grime scene.

The show will trace the growth of the music in Bow, east London and is part of the new The South Bank Show series.

Bragg admitted he took some persuading to do the show.

Speaking at a meeting of the Broadcasting Press Guild, he said: "Is it the sort of stuff I listen to every night? No. Is it good? Yes."

He said: "I'm 72, they're 22; it doesn't matter. Whatever the thing is, they're on to it and Jesus what a story. In this country, it's almost unimaginable to have less than they have, to have more against you."

Bragg said he was "terribly moved" by making the film and said it reminded him of the birth of The Beatles.

He said: "Grime reminds me, if there is an echo, of sort of, near enough like Liverpool in the very early sixties. It's a lot of kids obsessed with music, obsessed with it."

Dizzee Rascal is one of the most successful acts to have emerged from the grime scene which grew out of UK garage and hip hop clubs. He won the Mercury Prize with his debut album.

The new series, which starts in May, also profiles novelist Pat Barker and National Theatre boss Nicholas Hytner, the man behind the success of War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors.

The programme tackled an array of well-known and cult figures for more than 30 years but was dropped by ITV in 2009 before being revived on Sky Arts.

Bragg said: "It's just great to be back in business. These are among the finest contemporary artists around today. I'm delighted they've given our directors so much time and energy for these programmes."

The new six-part series also includes shows examining the rise of female singer-songwriters and the role of male ballet dancers.