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Noel Coward: A Private Life

on BBC One London

The author of Private Lives, Blithe Spirit and Brief Encounter (who died ten years ago this Saturday) is as popular today as he was at the height of his fame in the 1930s and his plays are now widely admired as classics of modern theatre.
The work still lives and so does the legend that grew out of it - the potent image of the cad in the silk dressing-gown, sneering at marriage and family life and dashing off plays and songs in the intervals between orgies.
And yet the man himself was not at all like that. Noel Coward: A Private Life is an attempt to tell the truth about the vulnerable man behind that dazzling but insensitive front. It reveals a man more complex, more fascinating and more admirable than the famous public figure.
It uses Coward's own home movies, never shown on TV before; includes American film, never screened here, of Coward performing at the height of his powers, and talks to his closest friends; Graham Payn, Coward's companion for 27 years, talks for the first time about their relationship. Other contributors include Harold Pinter, George C Scott, Maggie Smith and Sir John Mills.


Graham Payn
Harold Pinter
George C Scott
Maggie Smith
Sir John Mills
Michael Dean
Michael Dean
Film editor:
Peter Harris
Laurence Rees

BBC One London

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