Sir Peter Blake & Ken Russell

This episode of Living the Life brings together the… illustrious film and television director, writer and icon of British cinema, Ken Russell with Sir Peter Blake, the noted British pop artist, author and creator of iconic art images such as the album cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band.

Sir Peter Blake – is above all recognised as a pioneer of the British ‘Pop Art’ movement. He studied at Gravesend Art School and later continued his studies at the Royal College of Art after a break serving in the R.A.F. Peter has produced collage, sculpture, engraving and printmaking, and has created many iconic pieces of British Pop Art such as On the Balcony (1955-57) and Self Portrait with Badges (1961).

Sir Peter has also produced commercial art in the form of graphics and notably, album covers, and is best known for his design for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). Peter has won much acclaim and recognition over the course of his career and in 2002 received a knighthood for his services to art.

Ken Russell – After having a go at photography, dance and even serving in the army, Ken Russell found his calling as a filmmaker, and would go on to become one of the most innovative directors in British post-war cinema. His distinguished and colourful career as an internationally renowned film director, writer, producer, editor, cinematographer and actor has spawn a number of acclaimed and award-winning films such as Women in Love (1969), The Devils (1971), The Who’s Tommy (1975), and the science fiction film Altered States (1980).

Ken is recognised as a controversial and visionary artist with a penchant for flamboyance and captivating imagery. He continues to create films and is enjoying returning to basics with just himself, a camera and a few actors. A legend of the film industry, Ken’s passion for film overspilled into writing books on the medium and also becoming visiting chair to the University of Wales, Newport Film School and Southampton University. During filming of Living the Life, Peter and Ken reminisce about their experiences of filming ‘Pop Goes the Easel’ and before long they are engaged in an amazingly intimate and revealing conversation.

Watch out for Sir Peter and Ken talking during the show about:

– How Peter sort of fell into art school and how one of his first models for life-drawing class was a young gay and flamboyant Quentin Crisp who went onto achieve notoriety later in life.

– How Ken describes in heartbreaking detail how his young cousin Marion was blown apart when she trod on a land mine whilst they were both playing in the fields of war torn Britain.

– How Peter watched Paul McCartney take LSD and at times in Abbey Road Studios he and George Martin were the only ones not smoking grass.