❉ ‘The Last Five Years’ to air on the night before what would have been Bowie’s 70th birthday, Beeb comp for 13 January.
‘Bowie: The Last Five Years’ confirmed for BBC Two on 7 January at 9pm to 10.30pm
This film follows the widely acclaimed film ‘David Bowie: Five Years’, first broadcast on BBC Two in 2013.
It takes a detailed look at Bowie’s last albums ‘The Next Day’ and ‘Blackstar’, and his play ‘Lazarus’. Through the prism of this last work the film shows how, in his final five years, Bowie not only began producing music again but returned to the core and defining themes of his career.
These were artistic rebirth, a shedding of skins, a quest for a different palette to express the same big ideas – dissonance, alienation, otherness – the human condition. The film explores how Bowie was a far more consistent artist than many interpretations of his career would have us believe, by tracing the core themes from his final works through his incredible back catalogue.
It features every key member of the Next Day band, the Blackstar band and those who worked with Bowie on the stage play ‘Lazarus’, plus old friends and colleagues including Tony Visconti, Gail Ann Dorsey, Tony Basil, Michael C Hall, Donny McCaslin, and old school friend Geoff MacCormac. And, as in David Bowie: Five Years, there is a wealth of unseen and rare archive.
❉ Produced and Directed by Francis Whately, Executive Producer Phil Dolling
‘Bowie At The BBC’ confirmed for BBC Four on 13 January at 10pm to 11pm
Bowie At The BBC is a patchwork portrait of Bowie in performance and interview, as he evolved over five decades in the spotlight. A variety of BBC programmes and presenters kept track of this most ever-changing of artists.
Through a compilation of clips from the BBC archive, the programme gives an overview of Bowie’s extraordinary career from 1964 to 2016 featuring legendary and rarely-seen performances, interviews and insights into his many personas.
The earliest footage is from 1964 with the 17 year-old David Jones who, driven by a desire to escape suburbia, and never be considered ‘normal’ – was interviewed by Cliff Michelmore about being the founder of the Prevention Of Cruelty To Long Haired Men Society.
Within five years he was David Bowie, the artist who created a world and a persona which let his influences and imagination run wild. The programme includes classic ‘Top Of The Pops’ and ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ performances of Bowie singing Queen Bitch, Oh You Pretty Things and The Jean Genie, plus his seminal 1973 Top Of The Pops performance of Starman.
There is footage from ‘Later with Jools’, ‘Top Of The Pops 2’, ‘Newsnight’ and ‘Parkinson’, and from his incredible set at Glastonbury in 2000. There’s also a look at Bowie the actor with interviews about his roles in The Elephant Man and Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.
Bowie at the BBC gives an insight into the one of the most significant performers of the 70s and beyond, with interviews and performances showing just how innovative, funny, surprising and influential Bowie and his many personas were to generations.
❉ Exec Producer – Mark Cooper. Producer – Dione Newton
❉ News source: BBC Media Centre
❉ On Tuesday 2 March, the Torch Cinema, Milford Haven, will be screening ‘Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture’ including exclusive footage and new interviews.