Britain's Best Young Artist



Vick Hope and Ricky Wilson (2022)

Jessie Cave (2023)


Sadie Clayton and Ricky Martin (2023)


BBC Childrens' Productions for CBBC, 7 February 2022 to 7 March 2023 (28 episodes in 2 series)


A search for the best young artist around.

The BBC press release summed up the series:

Each episode sees three contenders take part in an Inspiration Day, designed to challenge and stretch their artistic muscles, before returning to the art studio to create a showstopping artwork.

It starts with this...

The artists must impress Ricky and a guest judge who will be on hand to critique the finished artwork and decide who moves onto the next round. Joining Ricky as a guest judge will be world-class artists including Alison Lapper, Simeon Barclay, Si Mitchell and many more.
Those that make the semi-finals are commissioned to create an original piece of art for celebrities including racing driver Jamie Chadwick, and former Blue Peter presenter, Lindsey Russell.

...and finishes with this

The series culminates with the grand finale, in which the top three artists have to draw on all of their creative skills and experience to produce a winning masterpiece which best depicts their hometown. The winner's prize is to have their final masterpiece displayed at an art gallery in their hometown.

Each heat showcased a different style of art – we had cartoons, we had collages, there was street art. Makes the show easier to judge, and easier for the viewer to appreciate – we're comparing apples with apples, still life pictures with still life pictures. A specialist judge joins Ricky Wilson to decide the winner.

As always in talent shows, and especially in shows for children, a big part of the show is the competitors - what they can achieve and how they grow as artists and perhaps as people.

The programme isn't just about the massive show-stopper. All of the artists take part in a quick warm-up exercise - draw a cake in 15 seconds, or something similar. Later, Vick and Ricky and the guest judge will go to a separate room to draw some art of their own.

Vick Hope sketches a speeding car.

Best Young Artist is relentlessly positive. Nobody criticises any of the art, there is constructive feedback on how to make the work even better. Vick's car above, for instance - we can see it's a car, and if she adds some whizz lines, it emphasises how it's speeding down the road.

Throughout the show, emphasis is on what the contestants and presenters have actually achieved. This comes to a head in the final, where the last players see their works projected onto the walls of a local gallery.

It is a contest, they do keep score. Only one person from each heat makes it to the semi-finals, only one advances to the final. All can say that they've been on television, and we reckon all can look back on their work with pride.

A few changes for the second series - Jessie Cave (actor, comedian, mother) is the new host. The guest judge conceit is gone, Sadie Clayton joins as a second resident judge, alongside Ricky Martin from Art Ninja. The three winners from Monday to Wednesday come back for a Thursday semi-final.


The 2022 series winner Abbie, and her self-portrait.

The 2023 series winner Chloe, with one of her paintings.


Developed by the Children's Productions Unscripted Development Team

Theme music

Brad Ellis, credited as "Composer"

Web links

BBC programme page

See also

Weaver's Week review


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