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A London Live Commission

Supporting London’s Emerging Artists


The Next Big Thing, a new series that hopes to raise awareness and support London’s young artists, launches on London Live this spring.


Presented by London Live’s Art Critic and Maddox Gallery Chairman James Nicholls, the programme offers an unrivalled opportunity for London’s emerging artists to showcase their work.


James Nicholls said: “The Next Big Thing will provide potentially life changing opportunities for young artists who might be struggling in this incredibly hard period. During tough times art has a vital role to play in providing hope and documenting history. We feel strongly about creating a space and a platform to build awareness of some of the city’s incredible young emerging artists who have potential to be the ‘Next Big Thing’.”


Premiering on London Live, the six part thirty-minute competition series will capture the winning artists as they create an original piece of work which reflects the ‘Spirit of London’ - highlighting the richly diverse and international cultural society.


Darren Oyston, Programming & Operations Director at London Live added, “Throughout our six years of broadcast we have always sought to champion upcoming talent and are proud to offer a platform for new voices. We are delighted to be working closely with James Nicholls and his team on the Next Big Thing, and help shine a light on young, emerging artists during these challenging times. We continue to curate innovative quality content for London and the home county audiences, and fully expect the programme to be a success.”


The competition opened in 2020, offering the chance to exhibit in central London and promote to a global audience of buyers and collectors. The ten winners have been announced, along with the winner of the ‘People’s Choice’ in which 40,000 votes were cast:



A selection of renowned artists and arts professionals who judged the competition noted the extraordinary talents uncovered through the competition:


Dr James Fox, Art Historian & BAFTA nominated TV presenter who commented: “I was staggered by the quality and diversity of the art submitted. I’m sure many of these brilliant young artists are stars in the making.”


Alison Smith, Chief Curator, National Portrait Gallery said: “I was most impressed by the standard of entries and the sheer energy driving young artists from all backgrounds. The works for all categories testify to the tremendous talent out there.”


Jennifer Scott, The Sackler Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery adds: “I have been blown away by the calibre of the applications. The works submitted in all categories were thought-provoking and skilled. The competition showcases the inspirational talent of the next generation of London-based artists, and their work gives me hope and renewed energy for the future.”


Raoul Shah, Founder & Joint CEO, Exposure commented: “It was staggering to see not just the volume of entries but the depth and breadth of creativity across each category. I am so inspired and excited about the wealth of talent we will see emerging from this new wave of creative thinkers. Our ambition is to ensure that this next generation of artists get the visibility, mentorship and opportunities to flourish and prosper at a time when our creative industries need the support to survive and succeed.”


Andrew Wamae, Co-Founder & Director of The Essential School of Painting, “I have to say that the standard of work that has been presented by young people, from all walks of society, over all the five categories is exceptional. The richness and diversity of the content presented is complementary of the talent found amongst the young of London. Congratulations everyone who took the time to dare to put forward their work, their hopes and aspirations for public review. It takes courage to do that.”


Additional judges include, Rebecca Wilson - Chief Curator & VP, Art Advisory at Saatchi Art, Acoris Andipa - Owner Andipa Gallery, Fi Lovett - Gallery Director of Maddox Gallery Group, Ian Edwards - Sculptor, Jean-David Malat - Art Dealer & Curator, Jessica - The Other Art Fair, Dave Stuart - Shoreditch Street Art Tours, Daniele Ryman - Patron of the arts.


Mentors include, Dr Chila Kumari Burman, the artist who transformed the front of Tate Britain with the bright lights installation, international artist Bradley Theodore, award winning artists Miriam Escofet and Sophie Knight and celebrity photographer Nicky Johnston.


The Next Big Thing TV series is expected to draw wide appeal, creating a raft of commercial opportunities. Please contact the London Live Sales team for advertising solutions.