Tuesday29 July 2014

Stirling Prize TV show dropped

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RIBA says new coverage is better than “filming guests eating roast beef”

Leading architects have spoken of their disappointment that the RIBA has failed to secure TV coverage of the 2012 Stirling Prize ceremony.

The event will not be televised this year, the first time in more than a decade it has not been broadcast by Channel 4 or the BBC. Instead the BBC plans to give details of the winner during an episode of the Culture Show to be aired “around the time of the prize”.

Simon Allford, a partner at AHMM which has been nominated for the prize three times, described the decision as a blow for the Stirling’s reputation.

Zaha Hadid accepts the Stirling Prize 2010

Zaha Hadid accepts the Stirling Prize 2010

“Not televising it is undoubtedly a loss,” he said. “Television does dumb down, but being on TV stops this idea that architecture is some internal discussion. It engages people to think about the importance of buildings to their communities.”

The RIBA denied that the move would damage the prestige of the prize, arguing that the new format could result in more compelling coverage of architecture rather than “filming guests eating roast beef”.

At the peak of its 10-year run live on Channel 4, the ceremony attracted 1.2 million viewers.

Last year, when it was screened on BBC2’s Culture Show a day late, just 280,000 tuned in.

Will Alsop, who won the prize in 2000 for Peckham Library, agreed that the move was disappointing.

“I think it must be worrying for the RIBA because without TV it’s more difficult to get sponsorship for the whole event,” he said.

“But it’s partly their fault for letting the format get stale. The Stirling Prize is important and needs to maintain that position.
If they change the format they might find it back on TV.”

A BBC spokeswoman said the decision was made as part of a wider review of the Culture Show, which is being revamped as a shorter weekly programme.

“The Stirling Prize winner will be part of an architecture-themed Culture Show, to be shown around the time of the prize, rather than filming the event itself,” she said.

The RIBA said the current format was outdated and it was developing ideas designed to attract bigger audiences.

The jury for this year’s prize was named this week as Nicholas Grimshaw chairing Mark Jones, Joanna van Heyningen, Hilde Daem and Naomi Cleaver.



Readers' comments (14)

  • zecks_marquise

    well I didn't watch it last year, but that is because of the unholy tv combo of lavern and mccloud. She isn't nearly funny enough, and he is incredibly annoying

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  • This is just criminal! The public profile of the profession is next to non-existing - well done RIBA for erasing it alltogether from the public domain.
    I ma begining to lose all hope that I will ever see the status of the profession in UK to be on pair with other EU countries...

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  • JuiceMajor

    Echoe the sentiment about annoying McCloud!

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  • I can't see that any of this has to do with Jim Stirling, RIP.

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  • Alex Henderson

    This is a great shame. Watching the live coverage of the Sterling Prize was one of my architectural highlights of the year. I do hope full coverage makes a comeback on our screens in the near future.

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  • The story behind the statistic “At the peak of its 10-year run ... on Channel 4 the ceremony attracted 1.2 million viewers; last year … just 280,000 tuned in” is how utterly architects have lost contact with the public they are supposed to serve. There is no lack of interest in architecture as such - membership of the National Trust has reached an all-time high of more than 4 million. What we do have is deep disillusionment, ranging to outright hatred of what architects are now doing to our towns and cities. When is the profession going to face this devastating truth? Maritz Vandenberg.

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  • lets face it, everyone who watched it got bored of the usual starchitects loving themselves.

    Last years shocking winner just highlights the issue, promoting a school in London that was twice the budget of a typical new school.... assuming your local school will be redeveloped from its current below standard level.... How to alienate the public 101

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  • zecks_marquise

    I agree John, the way it was detailed in some areas was so poor that it is already looking tired after 1 year!

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  • Yeah John is right - although Franz baby the word 'hatred' is a bit harsh.

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  • Totally agree with Peter Labiak

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