New BBC Two Doc to Explore David Bowie’s Final Years


LONDON: BBC Two has unveiled details for David Bowie: The Last Five Years, a new film that is slated for broadcast on the channel early next year.

David Bowie: The Last Five Years was produced and directed by Francis Whately as a follow-up to David Bowie: Five Years, which aired on BBC Two in 2013. The new film will feature a variety of rare and unseen archive footage and early audio interviews with the late musician. It will include the original vocals that Bowie recorded for Lazarus, his last release before his death, which has never been heard before.

The film, which is distributed by BBC Worldwide, will debut in January 2017.

Whately commented: “I always hoped that I would make another film about Bowie as we were only able to scratch the surface in the first film, but I just didn’t expect it to be this soon. However, looking at Bowie’s extraordinary creativity during the last five years of his life has allowed me to re-examine his life’s work and move beyond the simplistic view that his career was simply predicated on change—Bowie the chameleon… ‘ch ch ch changes’ etc. Instead, I would like to show how the changes were often superficial, but the core themes in his work were entirely consistent—alienation, mortality and fame.”

Adam Barker, channel executive for BBC Two and BBC Four, said: “BBC Two is thrilled to have commissioned this unique documentary chronicling the most recent achievements of one of the most significant figures in the history of music.”

In addition, BBC Four will broadcast Bowie at the BBC, a compilation of rarely seen archive exploring Bowie’s career as captured by the BBC from his very first appearance in 1964 through to his passing earlier this year. BBC Radio 2 will air the documentary Life On Mars, presented by Martin Kemp, which looks at the legacy of the titular song and features unreleased music.

Furthermore, BBC Radio 6 Music will be asking listeners to vote for their favorite Bowie album and holding a Listening Party for the top choice, and Marc Riley will present a show in tribute to the singer. The programs will air in January 2017, marking what would have been Bowie’s 70th birthday and one year on from his death.

Kemp remarked: “In celebration of the genius that is David Bowie, I’m excited and honored to present this program Life On Mars in January for Radio 2 to mark what would have been his 70th birthday. For me Bowie was a great inspiration and influence on my own music career.”

Paul Rodgers, the head of programs for BBC Radio 6 Music, added: “I remember the sadness people felt in January 2016 when we learned of David Bowie’s death. It feels appropriate that the 6 music community should commemorate and celebrate his life and legacy one year on.”