Bringing you a weekly showcase of the best in global arts from across the BBC and from broadcasters around the world.

Curated, written and presented by Nikki Bedi, The Arts Hour brings you the best in global arts in a weekly showcase of rich arts, culture and entertainment stories from across the BBC and broadcasters around the world. This program reaches places beyond most tuning dials and taps into stories, personalities and big global debates. Previous guests on the program include actor Russell Crowe, artist Ai Weiwei, actress Lucy Liu, comedian and actor Rebel Wilson and director Spike Lee.

Plus, several times each year The Arts Hour heads out to one of the world’s culture centers. The Arts Hour on Tour records from cities across the world, meeting big-name local talent and exploring the burning issues in culture. We provide an introduction to the city, feature live music and comedy, and present a rich panel conversation in front of a live audience. Recent editions have included Miami, Sao Paulo, Sarajevo and Accra.

There’s also The Arts Hour Backstage, where we come to you a few times a year from major cultural events. Previous backstage coverage includes London Fashion Week, the Eurovision song contest and the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival.

Please note that due to the pandemic, all planned upcoming broadcasts of The Arts Hour will be our standard studio version. We will resume The Arts Hour on Tour and The Arts Hour Backstage when we are safe to do so.


Nikki Bedi



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Nikki Bedi

Host, The Arts Hour

Nikki Bedi is an international television and radio broadcaster with a passion for making arts and culture accessible. She has covered the arts across the globe for over two decades and interviewed some of the world’s biggest names and talents, celebrities and industry heavyweights.

Nikki currently curates, writes and hosts The Arts Hour, the BBC World Service’s flagship arts and culture program, which provides global arts coverage, with a range of film, culture and entertainment stories. Over the last few years she has been to thirty different cities across the world with The Arts Hour on Tour - bringing the country’s biggest and brightest artists, actors, authors, musicians, comedians, directors, architects, poets, choreographers together for a spirited debate before a live audience.

Nikki describes herself as ‘glocal’, with her work both global and local, and as ‘Indo-Anglian’. Born to an Indian father and English mother, Nikki actually began her career in Mumbai as both a stage and film actress and worked with some of India’s finest directors.

Nikki’s foray into the world of presenting came when the UK’s Channel 4 gave her a talk show in 1994, Bombay Chat. Its success prompted Star TV in Asia to give her a primetime chat show called Nikki Tonight in 1996, which became Asia’s most widely viewed and also most controversial talk show.

After spending time living in Los Angeles, Nikki returned to the UK to become the face of Universal’s film channel, The Studio, hosting their flagship movie show and also presented the live daily movie show Worldwide Screen on NOW TV. She joined the BBC as a presenter in 2003 and has rarely been off their airwaves since hosting all kinds of TV and radio shows.

Recent BBC television work includes The Road To Englistan, a special in-depth television interview with actor Riz Ahmed in New York and the topical arts and entertainment program Front Row. Nikki also hosts a Sunday morning show on BBC Radio London, is a regular interviewer and presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends.

The Arts Hour airs weekly and is available via ContentDepot

Air window: Saturdays 5:00 a.m. ET - Fridays 11:59 p.m. ET

Please refer to the Rundown for full details.

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The Arts Hour reaches over 300,000 listeners each week*.

* Source: ACT1 Systems based on Nielsen Audio Nationwide DMA P12+ Audience Estimates, Fall 2023

Broadcast Rights

Full broadcast rights for this program can be viewed and downloaded here. Prior to carrying this series, stations must confirm carriage with American Public Media.

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