Copyright 2017 Simon Armitage.

Film, TV & Radio

Film and TV

Xanadu (BBC 2 Words On Film, 1992) – wrote and presented a thirty-minute film in verse, set on a housing estate in Lancashire.

Looking For Robinson (BBC2, 1993) – wrote and presented a fifty-minute film on the life and work of American poet Weldon Kees, in prose and verse.

One Foot In The Past (BBC2, 1993) – wrote and presented a ten minute film in verse for BBC2’s heritage and landscape programme.

The Late Show (BBC2, 1993)

Building Sights (BBC2, 1995) – wrote and presented a ten minute film for BBC2’s contemporary architecture programme.

Words From Jerusalem (BBC1, 1995) – wrote and presented a commissioned poem for Easter.

Saturday Night (Century Films, BBC2, 1996) – wrote and narrated a fifty minute poetic commentary to a documentary about night-life in Leeds. Directed by Brian Hill.

Drinking for England (Century Films, BBC2, 1998) – wrote poetry and song for a fifty minute documentary. Directed by Brian Hill.

Killing Time (Century Films, Channel 4) – 90 minute televised version of the millennium poem, transmitted on New Year’s day 2000. Directed by Brian Hill.

The Tyre (Century Films, Channel 4 2001) – Feature film based on poem of same name. Directed by Brian Hill.

Feltham Sings (Century Films, Channel 4 2002) – wrote poetry and song lyrics for a docu-drama set in Feltham Young Offenders Institution. 2003 BAFTA winner. Winner of Ivor Novello award for best music for television. Directed by Brian Hill.

Pornography: The Musical (Century Films, Channel 4 2003) – wrote poetry and song lyrics for docu-drama about women working in the pornography industry. Directed by Brian Hill.

Late Review (BBC2 2002/2003) – contributor to BBC2’s late night art’s review programme.

A Brief Period of Rejoicing – 30 minute commissioned film-poem for Five to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE Day. Performed by Sheila Hancock, directed by Ned Williams.

Songbirds (Century Films/Channel 4 2005) – wrote poetry and song for documentary set in Downview women’s prison. Directed by Brian Hill.

Out Of The Blue (Silver River/Channel 5) – Armitage’s specially commissioned film-poem to commemorate the fifth anniversary of 9.11. Directed by Ned Williams. Performed by Rufus Sewell.

Climate of Change (Century Films, 2008) with director Brian Hill, wrote poetic commentary for cinema-release documentary on the subject of environmentalism and conservation. Narrated by Tilda Swinton.

Upgrade Me (BBC4, 2009) wrote and presented a one hour documentary on the subject of gadgets and new technology. Directed by Jeremy Monblat. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (BBC4, 2009) wrote and presented a one hour documentary on Sir Gawain’s journey from Camelot to the Green Chapel. Directed by Tim Dunn.

The Making of Arthur (BBC4, 2010) for the BBC’s Norman season, wrote and presented a one hour documentary following the Norman influence on Arthurian literature. Directed by Matt Hill.

In Search of Odysseus (BBC4, 2010) wrote and presented a one hour documentary following Odysseus’s journey from Troy in Turkey to his island home of Ithaca in Greece. Directed by John Holdsworth.


Eclipse – commissioned by the National Theatre, sponsored by BT Connections. (available in CloudCuckooLand).

Mister Heracles – a version of the Euripides play The Madness of Heracles, commissioned by West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Jerusalem – commissioned by West Yorkshire Playhouse.

His recent dramatisation of The Odyssey – commissioned by the BBC, was broadcast on Radio 4 in 2004 and released on CD through BBC Worldwide. It received the Gold Award at the 2005 Spoken Word Awards. The book, Homer’s Odyssey – A Retelling, was published by Faber and Faber (2006) in the UK and by Norton in the US.

Last Days of Troy – began its life at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester before transferring to the Globe on London’s South Bank. The accompanying text, Last Days of Troy, was published by Faber and Faber in May 2014.

Radio works


The Mark Radcliffe Show – contributer, BBC Radio 1, 1995 -1998, BBC Radio 2 2004 to present day.

Second Draft from Saga Land – six programmes for BBC Radio 3, retracing the footsteps of W.H.Auden and Louis MacNeice during their visit to Iceland in 1936.

Eyes of a Demigod – forty-minute commissioned programme on politician Victor Grayson in prose and verse, BBC Radio 3.

The Amherst Myth – BBC Radio 4. Wrote and presented forty-minute documentary feature on Emily Dickinson.

Trading Places – A series of ten interviews with leading British, Irish and American poets.

Points of Reference – BBC Radio 4. Wrote and presented four thirty-minute programmes, in verse, on the history of navigation and orientation.

From Salford to Jericho – Ninety-minute verse drama for BBC Radio 4.

To Bahia and Beyond – with Glyn Maxwell. Five thirty-minute verse/travelogue features from Brazil and the Amazon for BBC Radio 3.

The Bayeux Tapestry – Six part dramatisation for BBC Radio 3, with Geoff Young. – Armitage and Moore’s Guide to Song – writer and co-presenter, BBC Radio 4

A Tree Full of Monkeys specially commissioned work in collaboration with Zoviet France for the opening of the Baltic in Newcastle. 45 minutes, soundscape and poetry, BBC Radio 3.

The Odyssey – three-part dramatisation, BBC Radio 4, 2004.

Writing the City – BBC Radio 3 Commission. 5 poems, recorded live at the West Yorkshire Playhouse 2005, with other northern writers.


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