Art Attack

Art Attack
Art Attack
Genre Art/Crafts
Created by Neil Buchanan,
Tim Edmunds
Written by Nic Ayling,
Neil Buchanan,
Tim Edmunds,
Helen Evans,
Driana Jones,
Louise Lamb,
Andy Prendergast
Directed by Richard Bradley,
Jeremy Cross,
Nick Bigsby,
Tim Edmunds,
Peter Eyre,
Clare Michel,
Jeremy Swan
Fernando Berreta
Presented by Neil Buchanan: 1990–2007,
Jassa Ahluwalia: 2011–
Theme music composer Mr Miller & Mr Porter
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of series 19
No. of episodes 291 (+ 'Scrapbooks' & 'Mini Makes')
Executive producer(s) Neil Buchanan,
Tim Edmunds,
Adrian Edwards,
Elizabeth Partyka,
J Nigel Pickard,
Sandy Ross
Producer(s) Nic Ayling,
Helen Dawson,
Tim Edmunds,
Helen Evans,
Driana Jones,
Louise Lamb
Location(s) Southampton,
Buenos Aires
Running time 20-30 Minutes
Production company(s) Television South (TVS)
The Media Merchants
(1993-2007, 2011-present)
The Walt Disney Company
Original channel ITV Network (CITV)
Disney Junior
Picture format 4:3, 16:9
Original airing Original Series
15 June 1990 - 13 July 2007
Revived Series
6 June 2011 – Present
Related shows SMart (CBBC)

Art Attack is a British children's television series revolving around art. The original series was one of ITV's longest running programmes, running from 1990 to 2007, and was presented throughout by Neil Buchanan. The brand new series launched on Disney Junior (UK & Ireland) on June 6 2011 and is presented by Jassa Ahluwalia. Each show involves Jassa voicing-over footage of an artist producing three works of art, taking the viewer through the various stages of production step by step.



Art Attack was the art programme described by Neil Buchanan that "Gives your eyeballs a shock!". This was because of the mad style of art usually done on the programme and to make art more fun for children and less boring. The art shown on the show was easy for children to follow and most 'Art Attacks' could be done using things found around the home. Buchanan very rarely used shop bought art materials.

The show was well known for quite often having messy Art Attacks, such as 'Plop Art' (dropping egg shells full of paint onto paper) and 'Splat attack!' (smashing paint soaked cotton wool balls on pieces of paper with fly swatters). Most messy art attacks featured Buchanan doing a small version and then doing an over the top, giant version and creating a big mess.

Other memorable art attacks include 'Lolly Lettering' (Using lolly sticks for calligraphy), '3D Fantasy Castle' (paper mache model castle) and 'Garbage Gobblers' (paper mache monsters used for gobbling garbage)

There were also short bumpers that split up art attacks, which were different in each episode. Examples included "Flick Pictures", "Magic Wax Pictures" and "Quick Art Attacks".

Big Art Attack

One of Art Attack's most famous inclusions are the Big Art Attacks. These are pieces of art done by Buchanan on a huge scale, out of various objects, often on a playing field, tarmac ground and similar.

One of his most well-known is a 'picture' of Queen Elizabeth II made up of £250,000 worth of £10 banknotes. In a special Christmas episode of Art Attack in 1996, Buchanan arranged for a Big Art Attack on the skyline of New York City, having specific buildings of Lower Manhattan turn their lights on and off to pixelate a Christmas scene. Most often, the Big Art Attack has a musical soundtrack playing over the top of it.

In the international variations of the show, clips of Big Art Attacks from the English version were shown, with Neil being credited as "The Big Artist".

In the revived series of the show, all Big Art Attacks are created by Alexiev Gandman.

The Head

The Head, was a puppet stone bust who humorously recaps the steps needed to produce the last art piece made. After doing this, he would usually show his creation of the previous art attack, most times however getting it hilariously wrong and usually bursting into tears. However on one occasion, by accidentally doing part of the instructions incorrectly, he creates a similar effect than desired and is proud of his work. He can sometimes tell jokes after the Big Art Attacks.

Originally, The Head was made of grey stone and appeared in an art gallery, alongside either the museum security guard (who'd be confused by him being alive) or various visitors to the gallery. More recently though, he appears to be made of wet clay and is shown on a table in a fairly messy room. And next to his table was another table which shows his own art attacks or an esual which will flew up.

In series one, The Head was played by Jim Sweeney, in series 2, Andrew O'Connor; and from series 3, having been redesigned as a puppet, he was voiced and operated by Francis Wright. The Head did not appear in series 12 or 13 and from series 17 to 19.

In the revived series, he has been replaced by Vincent Van Coconut, voiced by Tim Hibberd.


The programme was originally a TVS production, devised by two TVS employees, Neil Buchanan and Tim Edmunds. Buchanan and Edmunds met each other at Southern Television in 1978, and worked together on No.73 and Do It.

The first Art Attacks were a strand within No. 73, and this segment proved so popular, Nigel Pickard the executive producer of children's programming at TVS green lit the pilot. The Art Attack pilot was shot on location at a disused swimming pool in Gillingham, Kent in 1989, and the series began the following year.

When TVS lost its franchise, Edmunds and Buchanan bought the rights to the show and produced Art attack through their company, The Media Merchants. The Media Merchants used STV Productions (then known as "SMG Productions"), as the ITV company to get the series on to network. This was partly down to the fact Nigel Pickard moved to Scottish television. The rights to the STV shows have since reverted back to the copyright holder.

In 1993 another ex-TVS employee, Peter Urie set up a production management company, Television Support Services. Television Support Services managed all of the Media Merchants productions. The show was filmed from The Maidstone Studios, Maidstone, Kent. In 1998, The series began airing on the Disney Channel. However, the programme still runs on TVO in Canada and has since 1995. Since the programme's demise, many of the production team have transferred to Finger Tips and Mister Maker (both recorded at The Maidstone Studios).

ITV announced the cancellation of the series in July 2007.[1]

Series guide

Original Series

  • Series 1: 7x15' First shown 15 June 1990 - 27 July 1990
  • Series 2: 7x15' First shown 4 April 1991 - 16 May 1991
  • Series 3: 7x15' First shown 16 March 1992 - 11 May 1992
  • Series 4: 7x15' First shown 10 September 1992 - 22 October 1992
  • Series 5: 7x15' First shown 10 May 1993 - 28 June 1993
  • Series 6: 10x15' First shown 10 January 1994 - 14 March 1994
  • Xmas special 1 : 1x20' First shown 13 December 1994
  • Series 7: 10x20' First shown 9 January 1995 - 13 March 1995
  • Xmas special 2 : 1x20' First shown 12 December 1995
  • Series 8: 10x20' First shown 8 January 1996 - 19 February 1996
  • Xmas special 3 : 1x20' First shown 18 December 1996
  • Series 9: 12x20' First shown 6 January 1997 - 17 March 1997
  • Xmas special 4 : 1x20' First shown 17 December 1997
  • Best of Art Attack: 2x20'
  • Art Attack : Scrapbooks 8x20' First shown 22 October 1997
  • Series 10: 13x20' First shown 5 January 1998
  • Series 11: 16x20' First shown 7 September 1998 - 14 December 1998
  • Art Attack Twice Weekly (Series 12: 30x15') First shown 6 September 1999
  • Art Attack Twice Weekly (Series 13: 30x15') First shown 4 September 2000
  • Series 14: 20x20' First shown 5 November 2001
  • Series 15: 15x20' First shown 6 September 2002
  • Series 16: 15x20' First shown 10 September 2003
  • Xmas special 5: 1x20' First shown 22 December 2003
  • Art Attack : Mini Makes 15x5' First shown 31 August 2003
  • Series 17: 18x20'First shown 12 August 2004 - 14 December 2004
  • Series 18: 26x20'First shown 7 September 2005 - 21 December 2005
  • Series 19: 26x20' First shown 3 March 2006 - 5 May 2006
  • Series 20: 17 February 2007 - 13 July 2007

Revived Series

  • Series 1- 26x23.30'- 6 June 2011 - 28 November 2011
  • Series 2- 26x23.30- 2012 (TBC)

(Source: ITV/Hit Entertainment/BFI/Disney)

Video releases

VHS video title Year of release Video specials
Art Attack: Over 30 Great Art and Craft Ideas 1992 Neil shows his favourite craft ideas for art attacks on the first series.
Art Attack with Neil Buchanan 1993 Neil shows his 16 favourite art attacks presented by him.
Art Attack: Most Wanted 1996 Neil shows his video about everyone's most requested favourites. Including The Head was seen on the video.
Art Attack: Crazy Cartoons and Dazzling Drawings 1996 Neil shows his drawings and cartoon comic strip and dazzles.
Art Attack Let's Party! 1996 Neil shows his celebrations of parties, Christmas and wrapping up presents.
Art Attack: Top 20 1997 Neil shows his 20 favourite art attacks he had put together a gallary.
Art Attack: Scrapbook 1997 Neil shows his scrapbook with all the best art attacks.
Art Attack: 10 of the Best 1998 Neil is celebrating the 10th of the best art attacks from the last 10 series.
Art Attack: Christmas Cracker 1998 Neil shows his Christmas art attacks to make n do from the Christmas Specials.
Art Attack: Greatest Tips and Tricks 1999 Neil shows how he put together some of the best tips and tricks.
Art Attack: How to Draw 2000 Neil shows how to do some drawing on papers the Art Attack way!
Art Attack: How to Paint 2000 Neil shows how to concentrate on painting the Art Attack way!
Art Attack: Make 'n' Do 2001 Neil shows how to make things made out of old rubbish.
Art Attack Monsters and other Scary Stuff 2002 Neil shows his Art Attack Monster video of how to make n do or drawing to spook people.

UK Video releases in history

No DVD releases have been issued, except DVDs that come with Art Attack books and DVDs which come free with newspapers. Including an Art Attack episode taken from CITV Favourites VHS (Released in 1999). However, in India, Art Attack was released in three volumes by Disney DVD in 2010. It is unknown whether there are any plans to release the volumes in the UK.

Many Art Attack books were also released.

International release

Latin America

Southeast Asia

Northern America



See also

  • SMart - similar BBC progamme


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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