Monday 11 December 2017

BBC art documentary critcised for focusing on presenter's bottom

Andy Bloxham

Fiona Bruce, the BBC presenter, has been criticised for appearing in a documentary on Leonardo da Vinci which regularly focused on her bottom.

Bruce, 47, presented Da Vinci: The Lost Treasure in which she travelled to “Florence, Milan, Paris, Warsaw and New York”.

There was negative reaction to Bruce online, with Twitter users posting critical remarks.

Michael Crowe tweeted: “In Da Vinci: The Lost Treasure. Most of the shots of Fiona Bruce where of her walking away with the camera centred on her a---.”

Others criticised the BBC for using Bruce, who is most famous as a newsreader, to front the show instead of an expert and there was also a perception that the programme was a vehicle for the presenter rather than the subject.

Venetia Sarll said: “Was looking forward to a doc on the lost work of Da Vinci last night, but the BBC turned it into another episode of the Fiona Bruce Show!”

The documentary included the first filming of a masterpiece which had previously been thought lost, Da Vinci’s 1513 Salvator Mundi, or Saviour of the World, which was bought in a clearance sale for £45 and is estimated to be worth up to £125m.

Broadcasters joined the online debate to air their views.

Waldemar Januszczak, an art critic who writes for The Sunday Times, tweeted several stinging remarks, including:

• “Disgraceful that the first chance to film Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi should have gone to da Vinci expert Fiona Bruce! Fiona Bruce!”

• “Shame the clocks didn't go back a few hours further today. Then I might have missed Fiona Bruce on Leonardo.”

• “I don't like horror films. Didn't like Night of the Living Dead. Or Silence of the Lambs. Or Fiona Bruce on Leonardo.”

• “Watching Fiona Bruce on Leonardo is like being taught art history by a St Trinian's girl. I think I'm going to die!”

Matthew Cain, Channel 4’s critic, tweeted: “Interested to read backlash against Fiona Bruce doc on Leonardo. Yes it's lightweight but maybe it's meant as a general intro for beginners!”

However, viewers also complimented the show and Bruce’s work, particularly her use of Italian and French, impressed some.

One wrote: “An absolute MUST watch! Leonardo Di Vinci. - & I must say brilltastic language skills by Fiona Bruce”

Bruce was voted the “Rear of the Year” in 2010 after she appeared in the documentary Victoria: A Royal Love Story which had regular shots of her rear.

The presenter read French and Italian at Hertford College, Oxford.

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