11/2. Paul Gambaccini recalls the life and career of pop showman Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara), who would have been 60 on 5 September. This two-parter explores his seismic success both as lead singer of Queen and as a solo act, his personal troubles and his private battle with Aids. Among those recalling the singer are George Michael, Liza Minnelli, Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May, lyricist Tim Rice, photographer Mick Rock, Richard Branson, dancer Wayne Sleep, designer Zandra Rhodes and musician Mike Moran. Plus a specially recorded interview with Mercury's mother Jer Bulsara and sister Kashmira.
A Kind of Magic - a Tribute to Freddie Mercury 9.00pm R2
I can't help but feel there's nothing else left to learn about the life of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury (above): it's all been documented countless times in the written and broadcast media, there's nothing fresh to say. And then along comes a stunning two-part profile like this, packed with insights not just from his friends, fellow band members and family, but also with contributions from the likes of Liza Minnelli (who, incidentally, sounds as if she was recorded with a bucket over her head). This will be old news to die-hard Queen fans, but did you know, for example, that Freddie once made a recording under the name of Larry Lurex as a spoof nod towards Gary Glitter, or that the reason he changed his surname from Bulsara to Mercury was because the first time he ever saw it in print he hated how it looked so much that he wrote to his family and told them that from this day on he would be Mr Mercury. And the illustrious title that ran the listing for Freddie Bulsara, singer of Queen? One Radio Times.
There are more than 5 million programme listings in Genome. This is a
historical record of the planned output and the BBC services of any
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understanding that it reflects the attitudes and standards of its time
- not those of today.
To read scans of the Radio Times magazines from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and
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Genome is a digitised version of the Radio Times from 1923 to 2009 and
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programmes, online etc.
This internal version of Genome, which includes all the magazine covers,
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