Banijay Nordic sign deals with NRK and DR for “Portrait Artist of the Year”

Banijay Nordic confirmed two deals for factual entertainment format “Portrait Artist of the Year”: in Norway for NRK and in Denmark for DR1.

15 SEP 2023

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Banijay Nordic confirmed two deals for factual entertainment format “Portrait Artist of the Year”: in Norway, Nordisk Banijay is producing a first season for NRK, and in Denmark, Mastiff Denmark will bring the show back to DR1 after a year-long hiatus.

Created in the UK by Storyvault and represented internationally by Banijay, “Portrait Artist of the Year” gives gifted painters a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to paint a star from an illustrious cast of celebrity sitters. The show presents A-List icons, acclaimed authors, elite sportspeople, and hit musicians.

The format is set to debut on Norway’s NRK with six episodes recorded in museums across the country. Meanwhile, production for a 6x60’ episode run is underway in Denmark for DR1. The news comes as Sky Arts in the UK prepares to celebrate the artistic brilliance of the format with its tenth anniversary, including a special “Portrait Artist of the Decade” episode, with the winner of each series returning to paint Dame Judi Dench. The main series has an array of celebrated sitters, with the winner receiving a £10.000 commission to create a portrait of world-renowned conservationist and ethologist Dr Jane Goodall DBE (Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace), to be exhibited at the UK’s National Portrait Gallery in December. In the UK, the series has grown its audience in every one of the nine transmitted series to date.

Lucas Green, Chief Content Officer, Operations of Banijay, said: “Storyvault has created a masterpiece format with ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ and it is brilliant to partner on the international roll-out. These latest deals from Nordisk Banijay for NRK and Mastiff Denmark for DR1, along with the tenth anniversary celebration in the UK, are testament to how adaptable, joyful, and accessible this show is. These values perfectly align with what many broadcasters are looking for right now.”

Sam Richards, Co-founder of Storyvault, added: “Since its launch, ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ has been responsible for shining a light on over 800 emerging artists internationally, many of whom have gone on to much wider success. We are thrilled that both Norway and Denmark will have the opportunity to become part of the format’s legacy.”

Oslo-based Nordisk Banijay, headed up by Erlend Røeggen, is behind a range of reality, entertainment, and factual hits, including “71 Degrees North” and “All Against 1.”  Meanwhile, with Kristian Farcin-Leth at the helm, Mastiff Denmark produces local versions of global formats like “Starstruck” and “Good Luck Guys,” and creates new IP such as “Drag Me Out.”

The UK version of “Portrait Artist of the Year” is produced by Storyvault Films, with Nelda Sale as Series Editor and Southan Morris as Series Director. The Series Director of Production is David Buckley. Executive Producers are Danielle Graham, Samantha Richards and Stuart Prebble.