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BBC Yorkshire looks through the lens of Philip Larkin


BBC Yorkshire is producing a new documentary about Philip Larkin for BBC Four.

The 30 minute programme is presented by John Wedgwood Clarke (The Books That Made Britain) and explores his life, through his collection of photographs.

A keen amateur photographer, the thousands of pictures include his family, his lovers, his work, Hull and a number of ‘selfies.’

“It’s hard to think of another writer of Larkin’s quality who’s left behind such a rich visual archive of their daily life. And while we wouldn’t be looking at his photos if he weren’t such a great poet, we can find in them the same eye for detail, intense gaze and sense of fun,” said John Wedgwood Clarke.

The documentary will feature Hull and the East Riding, meeting those who knew him best, including his secretary and lover Betty Mackereth, who was the subject of his poem, Morning At Last: There in the Snow.

“Exploring Larkin’s photographs is a rare treat which allows us a deeper understanding of both his poetry and also his complex personal and working life. His love of posing for the ‘selfie’ also reveals a man who had an eye to the history books,” explained executive producer, Nicola Addyman.

Although born in Coventry, Larkin moved to Hull in 1955, as head librarian at the University.

Through the Lens of Larkin was commissioned by Mark Bell, head of arts commissioning. It was produced and directed by Richard Taylor, from BBC Yorkshire.

It is a joint commission to celebrate Hull’s year as UK City of Culture 2017.

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