Scottish actress Ashley Jensen introduces Scotland Inspired, an ambitious exploration of the arts world in Scotland through a new 26-part series of 15 minute interviews, with a wide range of contemporary Scottish artists, writers and musicians.

The programmes go out every Tuesday at 1.45 pm from May 1 on BBC Radio Scotland.

Each interview features a different artist, from theatre director Bill Bryden to musician Tommy Smith, architect Malcolm Fraser, writer AL Kennedy, designer Janice Kirkpatrick and actor Tony Roper. They explore the people, place or event that has inspired, informed and influenced their creator, whether in literature, film, the visual arts, design or music.

A broad range of creative inspirations emerge from each interview, including artist John Byrne, Edwin Morgan, the Lyceum Theatre, Alasdair Gray’s acclaimed novel Lanark and the legendary comedian Rikki Fulton.

Ashley Jensen says: “It is inspiring in itself to hear these great artists talk so passionately about some of the things that make them tick creatively, and it shows how alive and relevant the arts are in Scotland in the 21st century.”

Jane Fowler, Editor of Speech Programmes at BBC Radio Scotland, says: ‘What makes Scotland Inspired so special is its sheer range and variety, in terms of the artists taking part and in the choices they make. This is the kind of project that celebrates the richness and the distinctiveness of the arts in Scotland, past and present.’

Scotland Inspired presents an informed but personal overview of the development of the arts in Scotland, by finding out who and what have helped shape some of the country’s most creative minds.

The first programme features writer AL Kennedy, followed by architect Malcolm Fraser, folklorist Margaret Bennett and saxophonist Tommy Smith.

The series will be complemented by discussions across the BBC Radio Scotland schedule with a weekly podcast online.