Happy birthday Sir Tom Jones - BBC to mark Welsh icon’s milestone 80th birthday
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To mark the milestone 80th birthday of iconic Welsh superstar Sir Tom Jones, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 2 are coming together to celebrate the man and his music.
The brand-new two-part interview with the singer, Sir Tom’s Musical Years, is just one in a series of programmes on the BBC celebrating his musical career which spans more than five decades.
It will follow a week-long celebration of Sir Tom’s birthday on BBC Radio Wales with additional programming centred around the pop legend to be broadcast each week night at 6.30pm, beginning Tuesday 2 June (further details below).
For the new two-part interview, listeners are invited to join an intimate conversation, recorded remotely during lockdown, between Sir Tom and his friend and fellow performer Cerys Matthews. The former Catatonia singer, who previously collaborated with Sir Tom on his 1999 album Reload, asks him about the music that has shaped his life and career. Sir Tom shares with Cerys the most meaningful songs that have influenced him throughout his life, from his early days in Pontypridd, through his remarkable career which is still ongoing. Woven into his choice of music are memories of his upbringing in a Welsh valley and significant moments from his adult life.
The interview, produced by Telesgop, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Wales on the day of Sir Tom’s 80th birthday (Sunday 7 June), with part two following a week later on Sunday 14 June. They will go out on BBC Radio 2 a day before (Saturday 6 and 13 June).
BBC One Wales will also join in with the celebrations, as a new hour-long programme airs on Friday 5 June at 9pm. Produced by BBC Studios, Tom Jones at 80 will use rarely seen archive footage and interviews to take a journey through the singer’s career, reflecting on almost 60 years in showbusiness. It will air simultaneously on BBC Four, kicking off a night of programming based around Sir Tom Jones on that channel.
BBC Radio Wales schedule
How Tom Jones Conquered America (1x30’)
Between 1969 and 1971 Tom Jones bestrode the American small screen like a colossus with 57 episodes of his smash ABC show. Tom was a natural in front of the camera and was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1970 for best TV musical/comedy actor. In this programme presenter Gary Raymond looks beyond Sir Tom’s status as a Welsh - and British - national treasure and explores his international pulling power. Drawing on interviews and archive, Gary argues that this Welsh icon should be held in higher esteem than we can possibly imagine.
The Day I Met… Tom Jones (1x30’)
A unique picture of Sir Tom through the words of people from Wales and the world who have been touched in some way by their meetings with him. We hear from those who knew him as a schoolboy in Pontypridd and at his first job working in a glove factory; people who met him when he was first cutting his teeth as a singer and as he began to make his name. We hear from those who encountered him during some of his memorable TV appearances – including The Voice. The programme is a rich blend of well known, not so well known and ordinary people who can recall vividly The Day I Met Sir Tom Jones.
The Other Side Of Tom Jones (1x30’)
This affectionate celebration of Tom Jones' life and work mixes real interview with doctored archive and music to give a skewed look back over his long career. Tom Jones is an icon of the 20th Century, so this programme puts him at the heart of key moments from it - from coaching the Welsh football team and playing Batman on screen to being launched into space. Along the way we'll hear duets that never happened, and heartfelt tributes left on our answerphone by real-life famous fans and colleagues who call in to share their memories of these not-quite-true events. Michael Sheen narrates this tongue-in-cheek tribute to one of the last legends of pop.
Tom Jones: King Of Reinvention (1x30’)
From pop to rock, country to EDM, Tom Jones has continuously reinvented his musical style to stay in the charts over the last 55 years. We explore the moments where his career evolved, from the 1966 decision to turn from pop singer to crooner for Green, Green Grass of Home to a surprise US country mega hit in 1976 with Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow. We’ve seen his explosive return in 2000 with Sex Bomb and his latest resurgence as a judge on The Voice. In a programme narrated by Cerys Matthews we hear musical montages, fan stories and archive interviews from the last six decades which celebrate Tom Jones as the King of Reinvention.
Sir Tom’s Musical Years (2x60’)
Part one - Sunday 7 June, 1pm (BBC Radio 2 - Saturday 6 June, 9-10pm)
BBC Four schedule
Friday 5 June
9pm - Tom Jones At 80
Source BBC Four
May 28, 2020 6:35am ET by BBC Four