Elton John opens up to the BBC in a new TV special, “Elton John: Uncensored,” about his childhood, stardom and battles with addiction. BBC Studios, the commercial and production arm of the British pubcaster, has the exclusive distribution rights and will bring the TV special to the international market.
In a separate BBC radio show, the superstar musician also selects the tracks that have shaped him. Both the TV and radio programs will go out in the U.K. this fall.
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For the TV special, John was interviewed by talk-show host Graham Norton in August, in the south of France, during a break in his marathon Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.
“The past two years have felt truly monumental for me, and with the release of ‘Rocketman,’ the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour and my autobiography coming up, it felt like the perfect opportunity to reflect on it all with Graham,” said John.
Norton called John “funny, frank and fearless. I can’t wait for people to hear him tell his story.”
The singer, who was immortalized on screen this year in “Rocketman,” will also be on BBC Radio, giving an exclusive interview that will play on BBC Radio Two. Ken Bruce will talk to the star as part of his regular “Tracks of My Years” show.
The exact tracks John picks are under wraps, but the BBC let slip that there will songs from Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin and Little Richard.
“Music has always been the bedrock of my life, through good times and bad,” John said. “It was wonderful to delve into the songs that mean the most to me with Ken, a real deep dive into some of the tracks that have defined the eras of my story.”
BBC Studios is both producing and distributing the TV show. Suzy Lamb, its head of music and entertainment said: “In this special year for Elton John we were honored to be invited to produce this exclusive interview in the south of France.”