There’s a veritable feast of Beatle programming coming up this week on the BBC. In this the group’s 50th year, the broadcaster has just announced a series of programmes celebrating the life and music of the band.
First up comes “A Year in the Life: The Beatles ’62“, a 53 minute documentary which goes to air and online at 1305 GMT on Monday, 19 November 2012. In it “…Roger McGough tells the story of the pivotal breakthrough year for the Liverpool beat combo via twelve interlinked recollections from those who knew and worked alongside them in 1962.”
Then on Tuesday 20 November at 1305 GMT comes “Beatleland“. The BBC press releases says: “The Beatles left Liverpool in 1962 to conquer the world, but it never left them. Craig Charles heads home to Liverpool to find out what they took with them and the legacy they left behind. Every day, tourists visit Lennon and McCartney’s childhood homes, restored to their 1950s glory by English Heritage. From Albert Dock to Mathew Street, Beatle memorials are ever-present: Penny Lane and Strawberry Field, The Jacaranda, The Casbah and The Cavern where the group learned its trade, The Grapes and Ye Cracke, where the young Beatles would sit over a pint of cider, and Gambier Terrace, where John Lennon shared a flat with fellow art student Stu Sutcliffe. The Beatles connection is worth an estimated £20 million a year to the local economy.”
The week of special Beatles programming continues next day with “Paul McCartney at the BBC” – another 53 minute doco on Wednesday 21 November, again at 1305 GMT. “Johnnie Walker presents a portrait of Sir Paul McCartney, drawn from BBC archive interviews and performances. The programme starts with the break-up of The Beatles and traces McCartney’s career as a solo artist up to the present. It’s made up entirely of rare BBC archive interviews and performances, and presents a fascinating picture of one of Britain’s greatest musicians. Among other treats we hear Sir Paul deconstructing Band On The Run for a television ad for a domestic radio station and recording a session at the famous Abbey Road studios.”
Finally, Thursday 22 November at 1305 GMT, you’ll be able to listen in to a special on “The Magical Mystery Tour“, a 53 minute programme about “….the television film called Magical Mystery Tour devised, written and directed by The Beatles. It has a significant place in the history of The Beatles – not least, because it was viewed by many as the group’s first failure. Paul Gambaccini presents a programme revealing the story behind the making of Magical Mystery Tour.”
The BBC World Service schedule for the series can be seen here. There are also some programs on the Rolling Stones if you are a fan.
For anyone interested in the Beatles songbook: