The programme remains without rival and a long time ago it rightly became an important contribution to the vibrancy of the country's culture.
The beauty of The South Bank Show in its heyday was its eclectic mix of subjects: from the high priests and priestesses of modern art, the Francis Bacons and Germaine Greers, to popular entertainers such as Billy Connolly, Dolly Parton and Dusty Springfield.
A lucid, supple and valuable analyst of many artistic genres and their varying different potential. Together his essays offer some intriguing generalisations about the making and methods of artists.
These 25 vignettes offer intriguing comments on the film-making process and present valuable new insights into their subjects. Most have the shape and phrasing of short stories and his meetings with the gravest maestros read like mini-epics. Bragg's book is a thesaurus of delights...
I think we owe more to Melvyn Bragg than to any, other single person when it comes to promoting arts and culture, and increasing our pleasure in them, it's always been pleasurable.
No television show in the last half century has done more for the arts than The South Bank Show.