Rock ‘n’ Roll

This spring, a brand-new, five-part music documentary series investigating what makes the “perfect” rock’n’roll band comes to BBC Two. An ambitious multi-platform project, it features content on BBC Radio 2 and bbc.co.uk, culminating in a live studio show where industry experts discuss their favourite rock’n’roll musicians and create the ultimate fantasy band.

The documentary series, Rock ‘n’ Roll (working title), narrated by Mark Radcliffe, examines each band-member’s role and finds out what makes them tick – as well as embarking on a rip-roaring romp through some of the greatest stories in rock’n’roll folklore.

It promises to get under the skin of some of the greatest bands from the last 50 years, going beyond the music to uncover the roots of their enduring appeal.

The series breaks the band down into its constituent parts – singer, guitarist and drummer as well as the “other one”, whose face isn’t always recognised but, without them, the magic wouldn’t happen. The fifth programme combines these to look at the relationships and aesthetics of the band as a whole.

Taking the audience through some of rock’n’roll’s greatest stories, the series also uses comic book-style graphics to reconstruct some of rock’s key moments. By delving into these individual characters, it attempts to uncover the inside personas, behaviours and moments that have created some of our most successful bands including The Who, The Police, The Doors, Bon Jovi and The Foo Fighters.

In between each documentary, rock’n’roll enthusiasts are able to continue the debate on BBC Radio 2. More details will be announced in the following weeks.

During the series, viewers can also visit the website and take part in an online poll, where they can vote for their ultimate rock’n’roll musician.

The live studio finale brings together a panel of music industry experts and celebrity fans and the ultimate rock’n’roll line-up, as voted for by the audience, is revealed.

Mark Cooper, executive producer says: “We’ve captured over a hundred interviews with rock’n’roll greats while making this series. From Sting, Roger Daltrey and Jon Bon Jovi talking about what it means to be lead singer, to Jeff Beck and Slash on the role of the guitarist and interviews with drummers like Phil Collins and Chad Smith. It’s crammed with great stories, brilliant archive and graphics that bring the mythological moments of the great rock’n’roll bands to life”.

Mark Radcliffe comments: “Having played in bands all my life, I’m really thrilled to be given the opportunity to be involved in the first series that really looks at how a band works from the inside. It will be made all the more fascinating by the stellar cast of rock’n’roll stars who have agreed to take part”.

Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor BBC Music and Events, adds: “This is a series that celebrates the rock’n’roll life. I’m thrilled that Mark Radcliffe will be part of the project, narrating the series on BBC Two and championing the series on BBC Radio 2. We hope that rock fans across the UK will join the debate on TV, radio and online”.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1