Close Encounters

Two silhouetted faces against a red background with the text BBC Close Encounters and the NPG and Radio 4 logos

Close Encounters is a new BBC Radio 4 series that marks our reopening. Over 10 episodes, influential Britons come face to face with portraits that mean something to them, making connections and learning more about the works that make us a living portrait of Britain.

Hear some of contemporary Britain’s most important voices as they reflect on our national history and Collection – all recorded during the final stages of our redevelopment with BBC Radio 4’s Martha Kearney and the Gallery’s curators as guides.

Click on the portraits below to listen to episode clips and see new photographs taken by Sadie Catt, which show our Close Encounters guests alongside their portraits of choice while recording in the galleries. Clips will become available each day as the episodes are broadcast.

Episodes of Close Encounters are broadcast daily between 5 and 16 June on BBC Radio 4. Search ‘Close Encounters’ in the BBC Sounds App to listen to the full episodes.

BBC Radio 4
BBC Sounds