"This is an art attack...This is an art attack...This is, Art Attack!
— Opening narration
A British children's TV show on CITV
that ran from 1990 to 2007
(a new series has recently started, but is almost completely unrelated aside from reusing the name
). Presented by Neil Buchanan, its mission was to interest kids in art, and it achieved wild success both in the UK and overseas.
The format of the half-hour show consisted of three segments in the studio, which took the form of a giant-size art set, in each of which Neil would do a short project (or "Art Attack
") interspersed with shorter segments, one of which was always
Neil making a "Big Art Attack" consisting of arranging a huge number of everyday items on a background (usually the floor) to form a giant picture when viewed from above.
Besides presenting the art as something easy to get into and the iconic, brightly-coloured set, it was popular because of Neil Buchanan's easygoing presenting style coupled to self-referential humour. As a measure of this popularity, for several years ITV paid for Neil and the team to go to various exotic locations for the Christmas Episode
and make a Big Art Attack using, for example, the lights of New York skyscrapers.
A recurring character was "The Head", an animated stone bust in a museum, who would pop up in his own short scene after each Art Attack to recap Neil's instructions and then present his own effort, which inevitably had gone amusingly wrong somehow.
Between 2002 and 2005 Disney aired a spinoff of this Show, also titled Art Attack, for Latin America and Spain. While they had their own hosts (Rui Torres for LA, Jordi Cruz for and Spain) who did different projects than in the original, they retained the character of The Head and the Big Art Attack segments of the original. On 2010, after years of airing a dubbed version of the British version, they made another revamp/spinoff, this time with host Emiliano Pandelo for LA and Guillermo Martínez for Spain, and a new artist for the giant art attacks, Alex Gandman.
This TV show provides examples of:
- Catchphrase: "And then you'll have something that looks like this"; "I'm just doing this quickly to show you, you can take a lot more time when you're doing it at home"; "PVA glue, which is the ordinary school glue that comes in the squidgy bottles"; "Use tissue paper, or..." (furtive look, whispers) "...loo roll"; "Try it yourself, a (name of art attack)" at the end of each segment, for the last one in the show it would be followed with "...and I'll see you next time, ta-ra".
- Most of these were referenced in the CrazyHowBadAttack anniversary crossover event, when Carol Vorderman took over for one episode.
- Crossover: In 1995, as part of CITV's anniversary celebrations, the crossover "CrazyHowBadAttack" was made, in which the presenters of CITV's four main factual programmes took over each others' jobs: How 2 (science and history), Bad Influence (video game reviews), Animal Crazy (nature) and Art Attack. Carol Vorderman ended up taking over Art Attack while Neil was one of the presenters of Animal Crazy, and got bitten.
- Dueling Shows: Attempted by The BBC with "SMart", but it never achieved Art Attack`s level of popularity.
- Once an Episode: The Big Art Attack.
- Pun: "The Head" specialised in them.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Neil was supposedly inspired to make the 'giant pencilcase dropped on the floor with bits all over the place' set after doing just that to his own pencil case, and then got the producer around to lie on the floor to see it from the right perspective.
- Title Drop: Frequently; the intro alone always did it three times an episode.
- World of Chaos: The live set, to some extent. Neil described the show as "Giving your eyeballs a shock!"