Bragg surprised at Radcliffe switch
Melvyn Bragg has admitted Daniel Radcliffe's successful transition from boy wizard to theatre actor has surprised and impressed him.
The 24-year-old Harry Potter star features on the new series of The South Bank Show, fronted by Melvyn on Sky Arts. Daniel is currently starring in the revival of Martin McDonagh's dark comedy The Cripple Of Inishmaan on Broadway after winning an award for the role in the production in the West End.
Melvyn described Daniel as "the most famous boy actor since Mickey Rooney".
He added: "Probably the most famous ever, who's turned himself into a major stage actor. God knows how he did it, because no one else has managed it."
The 74-year-old presenter also revealed how an episode of the show about the world of Grime music with Dizzee Rascal and Wiley proved a challenge as the rappers did not always turn up on time for their interviews.
Melvyn recalled: "That sort of music was brought to me by one of my best producers, Archie Powell, who said, 'You've got to listen to this, it's new and interesting.'
"'The show was very hard to make because they're very elusive. Making appointments with those guys doesn't mean very much!"
The line-up for this series is as diverse as ever and will feature TV producer John Lloyd, singer Angel Blue, author Kate Atkinson, playwright Abi Morgan and a special episode on King Lear, with contributions from the National Theatre's most recent Lear, actor Simon Russell Beale and director Sam Mendes.
:: A new series of The South Bank Show begins on Sky Arts on Thursday, May 22.