Unseen footage and rare interviews to celebrate 40th Anniversary

Broadcast on BBC Two on 29th and 30th May 2011

Queen continue to celebrate their 40th anniversary in regal fashion with the broadcast of a major two part BBC Two TV documentary ‘Queen: Days of Our Lives’ which sees Roger Taylor and Brian May looking back at the band’s incredible career in candid detail for the first time.

Showing on BBC Two at 10pm on 29th and 30th May the two one hour shows explore the remarkable story of Brian, Roger, John Deacon and Freddie Mercury – looking into the early struggles, huge obstacles, success, arguments, breakups, triumph, tragedy and an enduring legacy – all against a backdrop of brilliant music and stunning live performances. With an extensive archive of unseen footage (the producers uncovered Queen’s first ever TV performance, missing believed wiped, and shown here for the first time) plus remarkable archive interviews with Freddie Mercury, the documentary is the band’s story in their own words – a compelling journey told with intelligence, wit, plenty of humour and painful honesty.

The documentaries cover each of the band’s studio albums, their legendary world tours of the 70’s and 80’s as they conquered South and North America and Asia, Live Aid and their enduring success since the passing of Freddie leading up to the present day and a popularity that continues to grow yearly. The Sun annointed them ‘Britain’s Best Loved Band’ earlier this year.

‘Queen: Days of Our Lives’ is produced by Rhys Thomas (the comedian who famously broke the Mastermind all time record points score with a specialist subject of Queen) and Simon Lupton, and is directed by the renowned director Matt O’Casey.

Rhys Thomas comments, “We have set out to make the definitive Queen documentary. It’s a funny, honest, inspiring and ultimately tragic account of ‘a certain band called Queen’, as told by the band themselves. We tell the story of four students who met in West London, slogged hard and conquered the world, ultimately changing rock music forever.”

The band will be previewing the documentaries in a rare radio interview as they guest live on the Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show on May 27th. Brian and Roger will also attend the 9th anniversary celebration performance of their hit musical We Will Rock You on the evening of Tuesday May 31 at The Dominion Theatre with Brian performing with the cast.

Queen’s 40th Anniversary year has kicked off in spectacular style so far with their  first ever major exhibition ‘Stormtroopers in Stilettos’ in London’s East End which drew an incredible crowd of over 20,000 visitors in two weeks, and kicked off with a star studded launch party attended by the likes of Foo Fighters and Jessie J. Meanwhile the bands first five albums have been reissued to considerable acclaim. The Telegraph said of their early work, ‘Queen’s greatest music was extravagantly innovative, technically brilliant and created with a jeweller’s care.’ The five albums covering the 77-82 period (News of the World’, ‘Jazz’, ’The Game’, ‘Flash Gordon’ and ‘Hot Space’) are also reissued on June 27th.


Further information from the BBC website:

Episode 1:

In 1971, four university students got together to form a band. Since then, that certain band called Queen have released 26 albums and sold over 300 million records worldwide. The popularity of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon is stronger than ever. Their story is a remarkable one, a narrative that covers early struggles, huge obstacles, success, arguments, breakups, triumph, tragedy and an enduring legacy – all against a backdrop of brilliant music and stunning live performances from every corner of the globe.

In this film, for the first time, it is the band that tells their story. Guiding us through an extensive archive full of hitherto unseen footage, the documentary reveals how four strong-minded individuals, all capable of writing massive hit songs, worked together so successfully for four decades. Queen never did anything by halves – meaning their highs were massive, but their lows catastrophic. It is a compelling story told with intelligence, wit, plenty of humour and painful honesty.

Episode 2:

The story of British rock band Queen, formed in 1971. The second half of this documentary sees Queen at the peak of their powers. With the ultimate showman in Freddie Mercury and a string of rock anthems to their name, Queen smashed attendance records with a series of stadium shows across South America.

But the band quickly learned that if reaching the top is tough, staying there is the biggest challenge of all. With a loss of focus in the studio, the decline in popularity in North America, increasing internal tension and a desire to pursue solo projects, it seemed as if the band had had its day. Then came the performance from Mercury at Live Aid, and their record breaking Magic tour in 1986. Queen were propelled back amongst the very best. Rejuvenated, the world was once again at their feet, but then tragedy struck and threatened to tear the band apart.

Featuring musical performances, previously unseen and rare footage, and intimate interviews.

Also the Hammersmith 1975 concert will be shown after the 2nd part of the documentary on Monday night, 11pm.