The BBC has announced a season of programming across television, radio and digital platforms in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Rolling Stones.
The centrepiece is a world exclusive four-part series of films produced by Mercury Studios, My Life as a Rolling Stone, which will premiere on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this summer. It will tell their unique story by delving deeply into the personalities of each individual band member, in four hour-long films on Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts.
The films will have unrivalled access to band members via newly-filmed interviews and contributions from famous fellow musicians that they’ve inspired, such as P.P. Arnold, Chrissie Hynde, Slash, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, and Steven Tyler. The episode on Charlie Watts, who died last August, will be told via tributes from his fellow band members and musical peers and admirers, along with archive interviews with the much-loved drummer.
The series is directed by the award-winning filmmakers Oliver Murray (Bill Wyman: The Quiet One) and Clare Tavernor (Keith Richards: A Culture Show Special). Mercury Studios will distribute the films internationally.
“We are thrilled to celebrate 60 years of the Rolling Stones with these four films which give fans around the world a new and fascinating look at the band,” says manager Joyce Smyth.
Lorna Clarke, controller, BBC Pop, adds: “What better year for the BBC, in its centenary year, to pay tribute to and celebrate one of the world’s most significant rock groups, in their 60th anniversary year. The Rolling Stones have been ambassadors for great British rock ‘n’ roll for decades and are loved the world over, so I’m thrilled that the BBC is able to present this very special season of programming, including the world-exclusive TV series, to our audiences.”
Mercury Studios CEO Alice Webb says: “Every now and again, as filmmakers we get to work on extraordinary projects – this is one of those moments. We know their music, their swagger, their unrivalled stage presence – and through these beautiful, intimate films you’ll see the band in all their glory as we explore what makes them truly great. It’s been an honor to work with the Rolling Stones to shine a light on their incredible lives and careers – we can’t wait for audiences around the world to see them.”
In addition to the four-part BBC Two series, a curated collection of Stones concerts and documentaries will be available on BBC iPlayer this summer. They include 2012’s Crossfire Hurricane and The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped (original version 1995, re-versioned edition 2016). Also this summer, BBC Radio 2 will air a world exclusive two-hour audio documentary, Rolling with The Stones. A complementary series, Rolling With The Stones Raw, will be available exclusively on BBC Sounds.