BBC Pop Music TV announces its Christmas highlights including documentaries on Tina Turner & Motown

BBC Pop Music TV will keep music lovers entertained over the festive period with a wealth of programmes celebrating and exploring music from the 1960s to the present day

[Press Release Originally Published December 7, 2022]



BBC Pop Music TV will keep music lovers entertained over the festive period with a wealth of programmes celebrating and exploring music from the 1960s to the present day.

On Christmas Day, BBC Two presents When Tina Turner Came To Britain. Featuring previously unheard interviews with Tina Turner, the programme tells the story of the superstar’s relationship with the UK.

Tina Turner says: “The love, energy and support I’ve had from Britain over the years has been amazing. I couldn’t have enjoyed the career I’ve had without my time spent in the UK and collaborations with amazing British songwriters, musicians and producers. I hope you love watching this documentary. From my very first visit to London in 1966 I always enjoyed visiting Britain and performing for fans across the country – it felt like my second home.”

The film features contributions from those who have met and worked with Tina: Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware of the Sheffield synth-pop duo Heaven 17; singer P.P. Arnold; Skunk Anansie’s Skin; Arlene Phillips, who choreographed the music video to Private Dancer, filmed in the Rivoli Ballroom, London; video and concert director David Mallet; Tina: The Musical producer Tali Pelman; journalist and broadcaster Charles Shaar Murray; music journalist Jacqueline Springer; promoters Jenny and Barrie Marshall and Executive Producer of The Tube, Malcolm Gerrie.

The film begins with Tina’s first visit, when, alongside her then husband Ike, she supported The Rolling Stones on tour in 1966 and performed in cities including London, Leeds and Glasgow. It then moves on to her second UK tour with Ike Turner in 1968, which saw her perform in smaller venues including in Dunstable (Bedfordshire), Beckenham (Kent), Harrogate (Yorkshire), Chesterfield (Derbyshire), Redcar (North Yorkshire), Nelson (Lancashire), St Austell (Cornwall) and more. The programme then explores Tina’s solo reinvention in the late 70s and 80s, including performances at the Apollo, Manchester, on the popular TV show The Tube at Tyne Tees Studios in Newcastle and in front of huge stadium audiences at venues like the NEC in Birmingham. Finally, we see footage of Tina attending the world premiere of Tina: The Musical in London, in 2018.

There are also interviews with the musicians whose bands supported her early performances in the 60s, including Peter Jay of Peter Jay and the New Jay Walkers and Gary Laub from Hamilton and the Movement. Plus, we’ll hear from fans who saw her perform in tiny venues such as the Gliderdrome in Boston, Lincolnshire.

This is the story of the key role Britain played in Tina’s extraordinary career and in turn, the huge influence Tina had on generations of UK musicians and fans.

On New Year’s Day, BBC Two turns its attention to Motown, and tells the story of the very first UK tour undertaken by musicians on the label, including Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles in When Motown Came To Britain.

When Berry Gordy founded Motown in 1959, he created some of the most influential sounds of the 20th century and one of the most recognisable music labels in the world. However, in the 60s, Motown and its artists were largely unheard of outside the USA. That was until 1965, when some of Motown’s brightest new stars arrived in the UK for a pioneering tour which saw them perform in locations such as Liverpool, Leicester, Wigan, Bristol, Newcastle, London, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow.

Featuring footage shot by Georgie Fame guitarist Colin Green, who joined the Motown stars on this tour, the film sees once teenage Motown fans make an emotional return to cities such as Liverpool, Leicester and Newcastle, where they experienced a night of musical magic all those years ago.

The programme, produced by Wise Owl, also hears from a range of artists and Motown fans: The Miracles’ Claudette Robinson; The Temptations’ Otis Williams; Ready Steady Go! Producer Vicki Wickham; singer-songwriter Mica Paris; authors Stephen Stevlor and Keith Rylatt; former Billboard Magazine Editor-in-Chief Adam White; BBC Radio Leicester’s Herdle White; The Supremes and The Temptations manager Shelly Berger; Georgie Fame & The Blueflames guitarist Colin Green; musicians Frank Collins and Carroll Carter; journalists Van Gordon Sauter and David Nathan; former Motown Records UK General Manager Keith Harris and members of the Tamla Motown Appreciation Society from across the UK. It also features archive recordings of Dave Godin, who founded the Tamla Motown Appreciation Society from his home in Bexleyheath, Kent.

Jonathan Rothery, BBC Head of Pop Music TV says: “We’re rounding up a fantastic year of music TV on the BBC with two new engaging documentaries from Wise Owl Films – When Tina Turner Came to Britain and When Motown Came To Britain. Both films take a fascinating look at much loved stars through the filter of the times they’ve visited our shores. We’ll also be giving viewers a chance to reminisce about the musical year gone by with The Year in Music at the BBC: 2022, and welcoming them into 2023 on BBC Two with the 30th Jools’ Annual Hootenanny, as Sam Ryder rocks into midnight on BBC One. Soul fans are treated to a rare performance from the legendary Marvin Gaye, and a Lamont Dozier special. Country fans can enjoy Country Music Christmas 2022, and pop fans can catch up with Top of the Pops Review of the Year 2022. There’s something for every music fan to enjoy on the BBC this Christmas.”

Accompanying When Motown Came To Britain on New Year's Day is Lamont Dozier at the BBC (BBC Two) – a rich selection of BBC archive performances of the legendary Motown songwriter’s best loved and most recognisable hits. Expect appearances from Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Four Tops and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - who Dozier help turn into international stars - as well as from Phil Collins, Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart and Rag’n’Bone Man, who have helped to keep his work alive today.

In addition, BBC Two will show Marvin Gaye: Live at Montreux – a film which captured Marvin’s performance at Montreux Jazz Festival on the 17th July 1980, and sees the musician – who rose to fame through the Motown Label - play hits including Let’s Get It On, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, What’s Going On and I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

As well as exploring these historical musical moments, BBC Pop Music TV celebrates the music of today this festive season. Top of the Pops Review of the Year 2022 (Saturday 24 December, BBC Two), hosted by Radio 1’s Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders, takes a look back over the last 12 months, delving into pop music’s biggest stories and showcasing performances from some of the hottest artists of 2022.

The Year in Music at the BBC: 2022 (Friday 30 December, BBC Two) takes a look back at 12 phenomenal months of musical performances from the world’s biggest artists, as well as this year’s emerging talent, on the BBC. The programme revisits moments such as Paul McCartney at Glastonbury, Diana Ross at The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Party at the Palace and Harry Styles at Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

On New Year’s Eve, Jools Holland returns with the 30th Jools’ Annual Hootenanny. Jools, his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and special guests including Andy Fairweather Low, Cat Burns, Gabrielle, George Ezra, Roland Gift, Ruby Turner, Self Esteem, The Real Thing and Tom Odell bring the ultimate New Year party to viewers in the comfort of their own homes. As ever, Jools will be joined by a starry line-up of guests from across the musical spectrum – from the up and coming musicians who have been making waves this year, to the artists viewers know and love. Plus, in time-honoured tradition, Jools will count down the seconds to midnight, before the Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards play us into 2023.

On BBC One on New Year’s Eve, Sam Ryder rounds off his incredible 2022 and rocks viewers into the New Year, joined by some of music’s biggest stars in Sam Ryder Rocks New Year’s Eve. He’ll perform hits spanning the decades as the nation builds up to the midnight moment.

On BBC Four, Country Music Christmas 2022 (Friday 23 December) will see some of country music’s most beloved artists, including Dan & Shay, Maren Morris, The War and Treaty, Steven Curtis Chapman, Scotty McCreery, Molly Tuttle and Old Dominion, come together for a night of holiday classics. This annual festive special is hosted by Country Music Association award winner Carly Pearce, who last year won Female Vocalist of the Year and is filmed in Nashville, Tennessee.

Coming up in early 2023 is Fight The Power: How Hip Hop Changed The World - a new four-part documentary boxset, featuring and executive produced by hip hop legend, Chuck D. Featuring contributions from Eminem, Ice-T, Killer Mike, LL COOL J, Monie Love and, the series focuses on the relationship between politics and the hip hop movement. It recounts the origins of the genre through intimate interviews with integral players, and charts the journey of how hip hop become a cultural phenomenon, against a backdrop of social and political American history. The series will drop as a box-set on BBC iPlayer on Saturday 21st January 2023.

Also available on BBC iPlayer from Thursday 15 December is BBC Radio 2 in Concert: Lewis Capaldi. In the programme, double Brit-Award winning Lewis, whose hit 2018 single Someone You Loved is the UK’s most streamed song of all time, performs in front of a small audience of Radio 2 listeners at the BBC’s Radio Theatre in London. The show will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Thursday 15 December (7pm-9pm).

Other Pop Music TV highlights to be broadcast throughout December include: performances from Self Esteem (10 December), IDLES (18 December) and Mykki Blanco (18 December) at the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival 2022 in Cardiff on BBC Two, with festival sets from Father John Misty, Johnny Marr and Wet Leg also available on BBC iPlayer now; Piano Greats at the BBC (BBC Two, Saturday 10 December) – featuring BBC archive performances from Elton John, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Jools Holland and more; Feeling Good: The Radio 2 Piano Room (BBC Two, Saturday 10 December) – a compilation of sterling performances from artists who have recently graced the Radio 2 Piano Room – a mainstay on Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 programme (weekdays 9.30am-12pm) - including Craig David, Sigrid, Paolo Nutini, Sam Smith, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott and Michael Bublé and MOBO Awards 2022 (BBC One, Wednesday 7 December), in which BBC Radio 1Xtra’s DJ Target gets unique behind-the-scenes access at the ceremony in London’s Wembley Arena and brings viewers exclusive interviews as well as performances from the night.



When Motown Came To Britain and When Tina Turner Came To Britain are produced and directed for Wise Owl Films by Kate Siney and Dhivya Kate Chetty respectively. The Executive Producer is Mark Robinson. They are commissioned by Rachel Davies, Commissioning Executive, and Dawn Payne, Commissioning Executive BBC Music TV respectively.

Fight the Power is a BBC Studios Documentaries production for BBC Music and BBC Two in partnership with PBS. It was commissioned by Lorna Clarke, BBC Director of Music and the Commissioning Editor is Max Gogarty.

Source BBC TWO

December 20, 2022 4:00am ET by BBC TWO  


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