This spring BBC One’s flagship arts documentary strand Imagine presents two special editions ahead of its summer run, that offer unique insights into the life and work of an all-round entertainment icon, and music legend, respectively.
Imagine – Beyoncé: Life Is But A Dream (Thursday 28 March, 10.35pm) is a unique, confessional film made up largely of her own video diary footage and giving us unprecedented access to Beyoncé, and her high-voltage performances.
The documentary is a multi-faceted portrait of the 16-time Grammy Award-winning singer, businesswoman, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, wife and mother that offers a rare insight into the extraordinary gifts that have made her a global phenomenon.
To mark David Bowie’s comeback album and a new exhibition at the V&A Museum, Alan Yentob revisits his legendary 1975 documentary, Imagine… David Bowie: Cracked Actor (Thursday 4 April, 10.35pm).
The film follows Bowie during the Diamond Dogs tour of 1974, revealing a brilliant but troubled performer at a crucial moment of creative reinvention. Cracked Actor has become one of the classic rock documentaries of all time, remaining an enduring influence on generations of Bowie fans.
Alan Yentob, BBC’s Creative Director and presenter of Imagine, said: “Bowie had come to America with an extraordinary cast of characters, all of whom he had determined to kill off by the end of the Diamond Dogs tour.
“I’d caught him at what was an intensely creative time, but it was also physically and emotionally gruelling. Our encounters tended to take place in hotel rooms in the early hours of the morning or in snatched conversations in the back of limousines. He was fragile and exhausted but also prepared to open up and talk in a way he had never really done before.”