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  • 22 saisons
  • 169 épisodes
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IMAGINE is a wide ranging arts series first broadcast on BBC One in 2003. Hosted and executive produced by Alan Yentob the show is currently airing the 10th series, which is expected to follow the usual format of 4 to 7 episodes, each on a different topic. Episodes have been directed by Geoff Wonfor, Lucy Blakstead and Roger Parsons. One notable episode aired during series 8 is about the internet and features an interview with the co-founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales.


Saisons & épisodes Les résumés de tous les épisodes de Imagine ...

S01E01 The Saatchi Phenomenon 00/00/0000
S01E02 Barbara Hepworth, Shapes out of Feelings 00/00/0000
S01E03 The Hip-Hop Generation 00/00/0000
S01E04 Stella's Story 00/00/0000
S01E05 Carlos Acosta, the Reluctant Ballet Dancer 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob tells the inspirational story of Carlos Acosta, the gifted dancer who made the leap from the backstreets of Havana to become the first black principal dancer at the Royal Ballet. The film follows Acosta over six months as he embarks on the biggest challenge of his life - producing and choreographing his own show based on his upbringing in Cuba.
S01E06 The Portrait of Omai 00/00/0000
S01E07 John Mortimer Owning up at 80 00/00/0000
S02E01 The Voice of Bryn Terfel 00/00/0000
S02E02 A Funny Business 00/00/0000 A look at the process of remaking hit British sitcoms into mediocre US sitcoms.
S02E03 Entertaining Mr Soane 00/00/0000
S02E04 The World According to Parr 00/00/0000
S02E05 From Pencils to Pixels 10/12/2003 A celebration of the phenomena of the animated feature film and whether there is a future for traditional animated techniques in the age of computer and digital imaging.
S02E06 An A-Z of the OED 00/00/0000
S04E01 Arthur Miller: Finishing the Picture 24/11/2004
S04E02 Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson's Smile 01/12/2004
S04E03 Simon Callow, Kelly Brook 02/12/2004
S05E01 Fantastic Mr Dahl 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob explores the magical and mysterious world of the best-selling children's author Roald Dahl to discover what made him such a great storyteller. This intimate portrait has exclusive access to his personal archive and features interviews with members of his immediate family, including his widow, Felicity, his first wife, the actress Patricia Neal, his children Tessa, Theo and Ophelia, and his granddaughter, the model Sophie Dahl
S05E02 Frida Kahlo 00/00/0000
S05E03 Being a Concert Pianist 00/00/0000 In July 2011, 19-year-old pianist Benjamin Grosvenor made his debut at the Proms to great acclaim, wowing both audiences and critics with his performance of Liszt's Piano Concerto No 2 in A Major. The youngest ever soloist to perform in the First Night of the Proms, he returns to the Royal Albert Hall on August 6 to take on Britten's Piano Concerto. In 2005, Imagine discovered this musical prodigy in the making. Alan Yentob talked to the 12-year-old Grosvenor about his success the previous year, in the piano section of The Young Musician of The Year Competition. This is another chance to see that documentary. Imagine: Being a Concert Pianist gets under the lid of this extreme form of musicianship. Celebrated pianists, including Yevgeny Kissin, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Chinese wunderkind Lang Lang, talk intimately about their lives, their work and their motivation. The film gives a frank and personal perspective on a profession for which the only real qualification is genius, richly illustrated with specially recorded rehearsal and performance.
S06E01 Being Hamlet 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob presents a documentary about short, stocky Welsh actor Wayne Cater as he prepares to play Hamlet. Yentob follows Wayne and three other Hamlets as they rehearse for the role of their life, getting advice and support from actors who have previously played the Dane, such as Ralph Fiennes, Derek Jacobi, David Warner, Jonathan Pryce and Simon Russell Beale.
S06E02 The Artist Formerly Known as Cat Stevens 30/05/2006 Alan Yentob presents a documentary telling the story of Yusuf Islam - the singer/songwriter who captured the hearts of a generation in the 60s and 70s with songs like Moon Shadow and Morning Has Broken under the name Cat Stevens. Yusuf explains that his hit songs were written to help him out of a spiritual depression, and that he shared with his listeners a quest for a deeper meaning to life. After a decade of flirting with religion he finally converted - after a near drowning incident off Malibu beach he promised to serve God if he was saved; he was and it was to the Koran he turned. Now one of Britain's foremost representatives of Islam, founder of a Muslim School paid for by his royalties, he has finally returned to the music he abandoned 23 years ago.
S06E03 The Ingenious Thomas Heatherwick 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob presents a documentary profiling Thomas Heatherwick, most famous as the creator of the enormous sculpture The B of the Bang in Manchester. Heatherwick has established himself as one of the most exciting and innovative figures in British design. Described as a new Leonardo, he has turned his talents to everything from artworks and architecture to extraordinary feats of engineering and an ingenious handbag.
S06E04 A Picture of the Painter Howard Hodgkin 13/06/2006 Alan Yentob presents a profile of painter Howard Hodgkin. Despite being one of Britain's most successful living artists, he doesn't like talking about his work and no one has seen him paint for over 20 years. With a major retrospective coming up at Tate Britain, he travels with Yentob to India, which has been described as his emotional lifeline. They seek out some of the great monuments of the Mogul empire, visit Hodgkin's huge mural in New Delhi, and go in search of the perfect Bombay sunset.
S06E05 00/00/0000
S07E01 Peter Pan, a Hard Act to Follow 00/00/0000 To coincide with the publication of upcoming sequel Peter Pan in Scarlet, Alan Yentob presents a documentary which explores why JM Barrie's character has such lasting power and mythical status and looks at the secret behind its eternal appeal. He goes in search of the real JM Barrie, visiting the remote Scottish island of Eilean Shona, his home town of Kirriemuir near Dundee, Black Lake in Surrey where Barrie played, and Kensington Gardens, where Peter Pan was born.
S07E02 Velazquez, The Painter's Painter 00/00/0000 Imagine presents a portrait of the artist regarded by many as the greatest painter of all time. Court painter to Philip IV of Spain, Velazquez is the artist other painters most admire, and his masterpiece, Las Meninas is considered the high point of European Art - yet he virtually abandoned his art for material gain and social ambition. Alan Yentob travels to Seville, Madrid, Rome and New York to meet artists and critics who add more to the story of Velasquez's genius
S07E03 A Play for Today 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob presents a documentary about Jeremy Weller's attempts to get his play The Foolish Young Man ready in time for the reopening of Camden's Roundhouse theatre. His main problem is that he has only one actor, David Harewood, on his team. The rest of the cast is made up of young people from the streets, drop-in centres, those excluded from school and kicked out of home.
S07E04 The Movie Brats, Take Two 00/00/0000 Something interesting seems to be happening in American cinema, with a new group of maverick American directors led by Steven Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino having emerged to revitalise Hollywood. They include directors such as Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne and David O Russell. Alan Yentob meets them and asks how they managed to radicalise American cinema with Hollywood backing.
S07E05 Who Cares About Art? 00/00/0000 Documentary which tells the stories of five people who spend their days guarding great treasures in museums and galleries. Some have tragic personal stories, and all began not caring or knowing much about art, but they feel that spending their days surrounded by the world's greatest masterpieces has been their salvation.
S07E06 Hans Holbein, International Man of Mystery 00/00/0000 Hans Holbein, long recognised as the father of British painting, is an artistic enigma, wrapped up in historical myth and nationalist hyperbole. Holbein, so the story goes, was a child prodigy, who famously branded Henry VIII, painted his courtiers and then his brides and spied for his ministers, before ending his life in debt. But how much of this is true? In this film, Alan Yentob goes in search of the real Hans Holbein. It's a detective trail that takes him to Basel in Switzerland, where Holbein spent his early years, as well as across the length and breadth of Britain. Alan employs the tools and science of the detective, beginning with a magnifying glass and ending in the reconstruction of the scene of Holbein's greatest exploit. Holbein's most famous painting The Ambassadors is recreated as a contemporary photograph by the renowned White Cube photographer Tom Hunter.
S07E07 Being a Diva 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob is granted an audience in the dressing rooms of some of the great operatic divas of today, from Angela Gheorghiu and Renee Fleming to Kiri Te Kanawa and Frederica von Stade. He explores what it takes to survive and succeed in this ultra-competitive world, for both stars and newcomers, and asks if these singers still need to be divas - in the modern sense of the word - to get to the top in this business.
S07E08 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob journeys into the world wide web to find out how it began, who's out there, and where it's taking us. He meets Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the web, and explores how Lee's creativity has fuelled the creativity of millions of others - such as Dandy blogger Dickon Edwards and sex blogger Abby Lee, the hardcore members of the Arctic Monkeys message board, masked animator David Firth, and Ewan Macdonald, the young Scot who wrote the millionth entry in Wikipedia.
S07E09 And Then There Was Television 00/00/0000 Exploring the development of television and the BBC on the 70th anniversary of the first highly defined TV broadcast from Alexandra Palace. Alan Yentob follows pioneering engineers and on-screen talent back to the studios, where they reminisce about the early days, including the famous potter's wheel 'interlude' shown when the cameras failed. Alan Yentob celebrates the 70th anniversary of the world's first scheduled high-definition television service, by the BBC from Alexandra Palace in 1936. He take some of the pioneering engineers and on-screen talent back to the studios to see what they can remember of TV's early days - from Picture Page to Muffin the Mule to the first news programme and the potter's wheel 'interlude'. Plus, some amazing archive footage and the Queen's 1953 coronation, TV's big breakthrough to mass acceptance.
S08E01 Gilbert and George: No Surrender 00/00/0000 Arts series presented by Alan Yentob. Over the last 40 years, British artists Gilbert and George have fascinated, outraged, delighted and confounded the art establishment. Since their first appearance as 'living sculptures' in the late 1960s, their work has persistently taken a provocative, often uncomfortable look at both their own lives and the life of the city that continues to inspire their art - London. Alan is invited into their East End home, where the couple have lived together for four decades, for an intimate look at what is the most unique, productive and long-standing partnership in contemporary art.
S08E02 Stealing Klimt 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob tells the story of the struggle by 90-year-old Maria Altmann to recover five Gustav Klimt paintings stolen from her family by the Nazis in 1938 and which have hung in the Austrian National Gallery ever since. It chronicles Maria's early life in glittering fin-de-siecle Vienna, her escape from Nazi terror and her fight to recover the Klimts against all the odds, which takes her to the US Supreme Court and pits her not just against Austria, but also against the Bush administration.
S08E03 Scott Walker 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob tells the story of Scott Walker, who was one of the all time great voices of pop, and then disappeared. This is the story of one of the enigmas of modern music, who has influenced a huge range of artists from David Bowie to Lulu to Radiohead, told through his ever-changing music. Scott Walker has crooned ballads to swooning orchestral accompaniment, and created percussion by thwacking a side of pork. For decades he was a recluse with a reputation for eccentricity, but the music was evolving all the time. Rare exclusive interview material of Walker at work on his latest album is the climax to a story told by a gallery of musicians and producers touched by his music: Brian Eno, Marc Almond, Johnny Marr, Alison Goldfrapp, Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker, and Ute Lemper among them.
S08E04 It's The Surreal Thing 00/00/0000 Surrealism has been described as one of the most successful revolutions of the 20th century, a revolution in perception that broke down the barriers between the world of dreams and the world of everyday reality. Its influence can be felt everywhere, in design and architecture, fashion and furniture, cinema and advertising. Even so, Surrealism is disdained by most contemporary artists, its ambitions regarded as overblown, its ideas out-moded and its greatest artists, like Magritte and Dali, dismissed as poster-art for teenage bedrooms. In this programme Alan Yentob takes a personal and dream-like journey, from Sigmund Freud's couch, where the story of Surrealism begins, to the current Surreal Things exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Exploring the history of Surrealism and its legacies, he makes the case for the Surrealist conviction that the world is 'an immense museum of strangeness'. Along the way he encounters people with direct links to the original Surrealist movement or whose work has been marked by its example. With contributions from singer and surrealist poet George Melly, designer Philippe Starck, film maker Michel Gondry and artist Grayson Perry.
S08E05 Buzzcocks… Imagine a Mildly Amusing Panel Show 20/02/2007 Alan Yentob in a highly thoughtful, insightful and rare interview with Simon Amstell, about the pressures of hosting the popular pop music quiz, Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Yentob also takes a look back at the most talked-about moments from the series, including Amy Winehouse spitting, Preston walking and Lily Allen controversially wearing funny glasses.
S09E01 Henry Perkins: Bolshoi Boy 00/00/0000 At 15 years old, Henry Perkins is one of the most promising young ballet dancers in Britain. Last year he gave up life with his family in Hampshire to begin four years training at the The Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, widely regarded as the best ballet school in the world. Only the second ever British boy to win a place at the academy in its illustrious 230 year history, Alan Yentob presents a gritty and challenging portrait of Henry's life during his first gruelling year at the school, 1500 miles from home.
S09E02 Bollywood's Big B 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob presents a profile of Bollywood A-lister Amitabh Bachchan, the biggest actor India has ever produced and a man with global appeal, whose Hindi films reach huge audiences from Australia to the Middle East, from Africa to Britain. Now he's no longer just a successful actor, he's a demi-god and everyone wants a piece of him.
S09E03 Helvetica 00/00/0000 Helvetica is a shorter version of the feature-length film by Gary Hustwit about the most popular typeface in the world, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Why Helvetica? Because it is everywhere. Millions of people use it and read it everyday, on public transport, newspapers, shop fronts and, of course, their computers. The film tells the story of how a typeface drawn by a little-known Swiss designer in 1957 became one of the most popular ways for us to communicate. It has been described as the Kate Moss of fonts - ultrathin, misunderstood and plastered all over the tabloids. The Museum of Modern Art in New York even staged an exhibition devoted to it.
S09E04 Louise Bourgeois: Spiderwoman 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob presents a profile of the provocative French-born American artist Louise Bourgeois, who was still producing cutting edge work at the age of 95. Memories of a disturbed childhood have produced fantastic and disturbing sculptures of giant spiders and poured-plastic body parts. As a girl she restored old tapestries, worked with Leger and knew surrealists like Breton and Duchamp. In New York she emerged as an artist in her own right, bringing dread, desire, sex and the psyche into her work.
S09E05 How to Get on in the Art World 00/00/0000 Armed with 5,000 pounds of his own money to spend on art, Alan Yentob immerses himself in the frenzied fun of Frieze Art Fair week in London's Regent Park. He meets artists, dealers and collectors to investigate what is driving the current creative and sales boom in contemporary art, and also to find out what hot tips they can offer a novice collector.
S09E06 The Secret of Life 00/00/0000 Starting with a look at the latest self-help phenomenon, The Secret, Alan Yentob sets out to learn from the big hitters in the self-help world: Susan Jeffers, author of the bestselling Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway; David Burns, whose book Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy has sold over 5 million copies, and Anthony Robbins, who fills stadiums with his can-do performances. “Most people see things worse than they are so they never have to try,” says Robbins. “People say to me ‘I’m sceptical’ and I say no you’re not, you’re gutless.” Robbins has been the personal coach to a raft of celebrities including Mikhail Gorbachev and Bill Clinton. At last year’s Wimbledon, Serena Williams, another Robbins follower, was spotted with her own self-help notes: “My good thoughts are powerful. Any negative thoughts are weak. You are number one. You are the best. You will win Wimbledon.” “But let’s face it, none of us are going to win Wimbledon,” says Yentob. “And anyway, we keep being told it’s not all about winning, so why do we need these books?” “I think we all have pain,” says Amy Jenkins, writer of This Life and a self-help fan. David Burns, a pioneer of cognitive therapy, challenges pain head on with the idea that “your thoughts create your feelings, so your thoughts can change your feelings.” This is not just a fad; his self-help book on cognitive therapy is now prescribed by doctors around the world instead of antidepressants. Yentob’s optimism is bought crushingly down to earth by the Freudian psychoanalyst Adam Philips. “Freud said the purpose of psychoanalysis is to turn neurotic misery into everyday unhappiness, and what he meant by that is that people aren’t going to be transformed magically.” In search of the roots of the self-help genre, Yentob discovers Self Help by Samuel Smiles, which was published in 1859, the same year as Darwin’s The Origin of Species. “Guess which one was the bestseller?” The next blockbuster was How to Win Friends And Influence Peopl
S09E07 Richard Rogers, Inside Out 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob traces the career of Richard Rogers, uncovering the influences that have produced some of the greatest landmarks in modern architecture. Tracking Rogers' life, from his birth in Florence, we re-visit some of his most famous buildings from the Pompidou Centre in Paris and Lloyds of London to the earlier and more personal work that defined his style.
S09E08 Marc Newson: Urban Spaceman 00/00/0000 Marc Newson is an industrial designer whose imagination knows no bounds. He has created everything from the iconic Lockheed Lounge chair - the most expensive piece of furniture by a living designer ever to sell at auction - to coat hangers, dish drainers and vibrators. His latest and most audacious project is a suborbital jet that just might be the future of long-distance travel. In this profile, Marc Newson talks to Alan Yentob about his inspirations, thought processes and designs. He remembers when, aged just 23, he sculpted the Lockheed Lounge from a piece of foam in a frenzied few days. “It felt like a monumental moment.” He couldn’t get rid of the Lounges back then. Today, with just thirteen in existence, they are one of the most sought-after collectors’ items in the world. The programme follows Newson to Bodylines, an extraordinary Aston Martin panel beating workshop outside Milton Keynes, where men who usually work on vintage cars create his limited-edition furniture pieces - and one craftsman gives him a piece of his mind about the flaws in his Black Hole table. In the marble quarries of Carrara in Italy, we see the processes behind his exquisite sculptures. Newson’s designs push marble into contemporary shapes, with each piece carved from one individual block. The programme also takes in the launch of Newson’s Space Plane, which, he hopes, will one day do exactly what it says on the tin.
S10E01 Doris Lessing - The Reluctant Heroine 27/05/2008 Another chance to see a rare film made with writer Doris Lessing, five years before her recent death at the age of 94. Alan Yentob meets this acerbic, forthright yet warm woman, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for literature. Brought up in southern Africa, she took London by storm in 1950. She has believed in 'ban the bomb' and telepathy, been a Communist and a 'Free Woman', written realist novels and science fiction. She is perhaps most remembered for her raw and revealing Golden Notebook, which inspired and influenced a generation of women.
S10E02 Oliver Sacks: Tales of Music and the Brain 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob investigates the extraordinary impact music can have on the human brain. He travels to meet Tony Cicoria, who was struck by lightning and suddenly developed an insatiable passion for the piano, and Matt Giordano, who can alleviate his severe Tourette's syndrome by drumming - both remarkable case studies from neurologist Dr Oliver Sacks's latest book, Musicophilia. Alan even has his own brain scanned - with surprising results.
S10E03 Annie Leibovitz - Life Through a Lens 00/00/0000 Internationally-renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, who has captured famous faces from Demi Moore through Yoko Ono to the Queen, is the subject of this intimate profile by her sister Barbara. Always controversial, the last 12 months have seen the American at the heart of two scandals - 15-year-old Disney star Miley Cyrus pictured in just a sheet, and the Queen in the infamous storming-out episode.
S10E04 A Trip to Asia: On the Road with the Berlin Philharmonic 00/00/0000 The musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic set off on a concert tour of Asia and, with remarkable frankness, talk about the hopes and regrets that come from a life on the road. The players and their conductor, Sir Simon Rattle, offer their reflections on friendship and competition, the pressure to perform, the loss of technique with getting older, and that overwhelming sensation that keeps them coming back for more.
S10E05 A Wild Sheep Chase: In Search of Haruki Murakami 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob visits Japan to find out more about the world of internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami. He travels to Tokyo and Kobe, delving into the social and political background of Murakami's literature. He also meets some of the reclusive writer's fans, critics, translators and even a talking cat, before Murakami gives a rare off-camera interview, explaining why privacy is essential to his work.
S10E06 Werner Herzog: Beyond Reason 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob travels to Los Angeles to meet acclaimed director, screenwriter and producer Werner Herzog. The pair discuss Herzog's career to date, including films such as Rescue Dawn, Grizzly Man and Fitzcarraldo - one of several projects that saw him working with eccentric actor Klaus Kinski. They also talk about what the future might hold for a man known to be uncompromising in his search for the truth.
S10E07 Love, Loss and Anthony Minghella 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob is joined by a distinguished list of contributors including Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes to pay tribute to Academy Award-winning director Anthony Minghella, director of films including The English Patient and Cold Mountain, who died suddenly in March aged 54. A Special tribute program added to the series 13 run.
S11E01 Dangerous Liaisons: When Akram met Juliette 00/00/0000 Arts documentary series. Following British-Bangladeshi choreographer Akram Khan as he takes the risk of his life. He has just months to teach Oscar-winning French actress Juliette Binoche to dance. She must also be confident enough to perform with her teacher in front of the National Theatre's discerning audience. Akram, for his part, will attempt to learn to act. Interviewees include Juliette Binoche, Sylvie Guillem, Joseph Fiennes, Antony Gormley, Nitin Sawhney and Anish Kapoor.
S11E02 A Love Story 00/00/0000 What makes a great love story? Imagine looks at the great books, films and pop songs that have tackled the thorny issue of love, pain and desire. Lancelot and Guinevere, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Lady Chatterley's Lover, 24 hours from Tulsa, Casablanca, Brief Encounter and Lolita are all great love stories. But what makes them special? 'A great love story has to have a fly in the ointment', according to Pulitzer prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides. Other contributors include best selling authors Sarah Waters, Helen Fielding, Jane Austen's biographer Claire Tomalin, Burt Bacharach's lyricist Hal David, screen doctor Robert McKee, psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and literature professor John Sutherland.
S11E03 Jay-Z: He Came, He Saw, He Conquered 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob explores the life and work of the chart topping rapper and multi-millionaire businessman Jay-Z. With an exclusive insight into his world Yentob accompanies Jay-Z for six months, including the build up to his triumphant headline gig at Glastonbury and backstage access to his concerts in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. Jay-Z also talks in depth about his other passions, which include modern art, architecture, politics, sports and fashion.
S11E04 Let There Be Light 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob explores the work of artists whose primary medium is light. On his trip down the light fantastic, Alan encounters material from outer space, solid light sculptures, paintings made by the sun and an extinct volcano that has been turned into a temple of perception by the legendary American artist James Turrell.
S11E05 How an Orchestra Saved Venezuela's Children 00/00/0000 The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, which caused a sensation at last year's Proms, is the product of an extraordinary music education system that has been running for more than 30 years. Children as young as two get intensive music lessons designed to steer them away from the dangers of the street. With Scotland now trying its own version of the scheme, Alan Yentob investigates the phenomenon and meets its most successful graduate, 27-year-old conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who next year becomes music director of the LA Philharmonic.
S11E06 Richard Serra: Man of Steel 00/00/0000 Sculptor and giant of modern art Richard Serra discusses his extraordinary life and work. A creator of enormous, immediately identifiable steel sculptures that both terrify and mesmerise, Serra believes that each viewer creates the sculpture for themselves by being within it. To this end, a Japanese family are reminded of the Temples of Kyoto, a Londoner finds sanctuary in the Serra near Liverpool Street station, and most movingly, a Holocaust survivor sees one piece as a wall separating the living from the dead. Contributors include Chuck Close, Philip Glass and Glenn D Lowry, Director of MoMA.
S11E07 Heavy Metal in Baghdad 00/00/0000 Rock doc Heavy Metal in Baghdad follows the struggles of Iraq's one and only metal band, Acrassicauda, and tells its own story about the horror of daily life in the war-torn city. Following the documentary's limited cinema release Imagine presents an edited down version of that film, then picks up the story as the four band members have fled Iraq and are attempting to re-form their band in the West. Lost in a nightmare of bureaucracy, the four young musicians hold onto their dream, which is simply to play their music.
S13E01 The Smoking Diaries Update 00/00/0000 As part of an evening of programmes celebrating the life and work of the playwright and diarist, Simon Gray, who died in 2008. This updated Imagine is a rare insight into one of Britain's foremost playwrights, author of many West End hits, but best known for his work with Harold Pinter, and as the writer of the notorious Cell Mates. This intimate film gives a darkly entertaining account of his childhood experiences and very personal views on addictions to smoking, alcohol and the traumas of modern day life for a writer. By way of tribute, the conclusion to the film is provided by a number of friends, well known actors and writers, reading from Simon Gray's last volume of diaries,
S13E02 Save the Last Dance for Me 00/00/0000 At an age when most people are content to take it easy, one group of pensioners have taken up contemporary dance for the first time. Alan Yentob follows them on their journey as they prepare to perform at Sadler's Wells, one of the top dance venues in the world. Save the Last Dance for Me challenges people's preconceptions about the physical and creative abilities of the over sixties.
S13E03 David Hockney: A Bigger Picture 00/00/0000 Filmed over three years with unprecedented access, this documentary captures the return from California of England's favourite living artist. As Hockney approaches the age of 70, he re-invents his painting from scratch, working through the seasons and in all weathers out in the Yorkshire countryside, ending up with the largest picture ever made outdoors. It is at once the story of an unusual homecoming and also an intimate portrait of what inspires Hockney as his time runs out.
S13E04 Rufus Wainwright, Prima Donna 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob explores the rapid rise of one of modern music's most mercurial talents, Rufus Wainwright. Wainwright talks candidly about his background, his family of musical luminaries - father Loudon Wainwright III, mother Kate McGarrigle and sister Martha Wainwright - his troubled personal history with drugs and the tensions that have informed his music. The film also follows his journey into the classical world as he creates his very first opera, Prima Donna.
S13E05 The Colourful Mr Eggleston 00/00/0000 William Eggleston is one of the most influential and original photographers alive today. A Mississippi aristocrat with a fondness for guns, drink and women, he dragged colour into the world of art photography. Reviled in the 1970s, he is now considered a legend whose unique visual style has influenced generations of photographers and filmmakers. Imagine shows the normally shy and elusive Eggleston at work - taking photographs on the road, in and around his home town of Memphis.
S13E06 Art in Troubled Times: A New Deal for Art 00/00/0000 The Great Depression and the Second World War changed what was expected of the arts; Alan Yentob asks if this recession could see the next transformation. Artist Chuck Close talks about the New Deal in America in the 30s, when the government paid artists to work, while actor Simon Callow tells how thrilled actors were to feel their work mattered. And dealer Kenny Schachter explains how, in a perverse way, he feels this recession is the best thing that has happened to the art world in ten years.
S13E07 Art in Troubled Times: Part II – The Home Front 00/00/0000 In times like these, what is art worth? And what is art for? The big moment for publicly funded art in Britain was the Second World War. "Something absolutely remarkable happened during the war", says actor Simon Callow. "The theatre suddenly was right at the heart of society." After the war, the idea of "art for all" led to the founding of the Arts Council - "very much a response to the distress, the fear, the uncertainty of war." Alan Yentob asks if culture can play that role again today.
S14E01 The Year of Anish Kapoor 00/00/0000 Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation, known for works of staggering complexity and scale. He now faces his biggest challenge yet as the first living British artist to have a solo show occupying the entire Royal Academy gallery. His response is a series of audacious installations. With exclusive access to his studio, Alan Yentob follows him through a period of intense productivity. Kapoor talks candidly about his childhood in India, his early years as an artist and his creative process. An insight into one of Britain's most accomplished and popular sculptors.
S14E02 Dame Shirley Bassey: The Girl from Tiger Bay 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob gains exclusive access and insight into the creative world of Dame Shirley Bassey. After a triumphant Glastonbury appearance and a major illness, at 72, Dame Shirley, one of our greatest singers, tentatively re-enters the ring to confront her life in song. Some of the best contemporary songwriters, including Gary Barlow, the Pet Shop Boys, Manic Street Preachers, Rufus Wainwright, Richard Hawley and KT Tunstall, along with the famous Bond composer John Barry and lyricist Don Black, have interpreted her life through song for a new album produced by David Arnold. The songs frame and explore the myth of Shirley Bassey, the girl from Tiger Bay, and the voice and the desire are not found wanting.
S14E03 Own Art 00/00/0000 There is a new breed of art collector on the block. No longer do you need to be fabulously wealthy to afford a Blake, a Banksy or a Hockney over your fireplace. Imagine meets a variety of people who are part of a small revolution in the art world. A factory worker, a pig farmer and a policeman are just some of those whose lives have been changed by an Arts Council scheme called Own Art, which has enabled them to take out an interest free loan to buy contemporary artwork.
S14E04 Joan Baez... How Sweet the Sound 00/00/0000 The American singer-songwriter Joan Baez talks, more candidly then ever, about her personal life and a career spanning 50 years. Political ally to Martin Luther King, lover to Bob Dylan, she was the most admired and desired performer of her generation, using her unique voice to get her message of peace and racial equality heard around the world. Baez tells about her unconventional upbringing with Quaker parents, her near-breakdown due to stage fright, and her complicated relationships with lover Dylan, husband David Harris and son Gabe.
S14E05 Placido Domingo: The Time of My Life 00/00/0000 He has performed in 3,400 performances in over 130 roles, conducted upwards of 450 performances, and is general director of both the Washington National and Los Angeles Operas. Placido Domingo is at the peak of opera, and now at the age of 68, he has embarked on a role he has long dreamed of performing - Simon Boccanegra - his first as baritone in an opera. Exploring with him his astonishing career as a tenor leading up to this moment, the film looks back at his most famous opera roles and examines how Domingo won BBC Music Magazine's title of Greatest Singer in History.
S14E06 Scrabble - A Night on the Tiles 00/00/0000 Scrabble is experiencing a renaissance. The younger generation have rediscovered the game online - through the copyright busting Scrabulous - and they're having night after night on the tiles. LANA BOTNEY sets out to discover why the word game leaves us spellbound, tracing its surprising history, meeting the American tournament Word Freaks, and paying a visit to the S.A.S. style training camp that the Nigerian government trains their players at. With triple word score contributions from Moby, Richard Herring, Lynn Barber and Noreena Hertz.
S15E01 Nigel Kennedy's Polish Adventure 00/00/0000 The virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy became Britain's most celebrated classical musician after the release of his 1989 recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, which sold 2 million copies. But Kennedy had always harboured a love of jazz - an affection which the former child prodigy has been pursuing in his new home. Kennedy now lives in Poland, where he fronts an all-Polish jazz band, the Nigel Kennedy Quintet, and has recently founded The Orchestra of Life, an ensemble consisting of mostly young musicians. In Imagine: Nigel Kennedy's Polish Adventure, Alan Yentob traces Kennedy's personal odyssey, and follows him as he explores the rich musical traditions of his adopted homeland.
S15E02 Art Is Child's Play 00/00/0000 For many great cultural figures, the formative childhood experience of play has helped to unleash their creativity and shape their later work. In this programme, Alan Yentob considers the influence of play with some of Britain's leading artists, including Tracey Emin, Grayson Perry, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Mat Collishaw and David Bailey, who offer fascinating insights into the transformative power of their early creative experiences.
S15E03 Growing Old Disgracefully 29/06/2010 At the age of 92, Diana Athill is suddenly a celebrity. Her frank and entertaining memoirs, mainly written after the age at which most people retire, chart a life less ordinary. She's had a string of love affairs, mainly with married, black and/or younger men; enjoyed fifty years of success as an editor, worked with writers as distinguished as Jean Rhys, Norman Mailer and VS Naipaul; and led a privileged childhood in a Norfolk mansion. Recently, she has chosen to go into an old people's home, where they take people 'who have had interesting lives'. Alan Yentob meets her to discuss her life, her work - and her outspoken thoughts on death.
S15E04 Tom Jones - What Good Am I? 00/00/0000 As he prepares to celebrate his 70th birthday, singing legend Sir Tom Jones is still recording, performing and collaborating with some of the biggest names in pop. In this episode of Imagine, Alan Yentob examines the extraordinary story of one of Britain's most recognisable pop icons. In a frank and revealing interview, Sir Tom describes the dizzying ascent from his humble beginnings as a miner's son in South Wales to becoming a headline act in Las Vegas, and recalls many of his most cherished moments from a career that enabled him to sing alongside Elvis, establish himself as a hairy-chested sex symbol, and make one of the most successful comebacks in pop history.
S16E01 Ai Weiwei - Without Fear or Favour 00/00/0000 Architect, photographer, curator and blogger, Ai Weiwei is China's most famous and politically outspoken contemporary artist. As Ai Weiwei's latest work is unveiled in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, Alan Yentob reveals how this most courageous and determined of artists continues to fight for artistic freedom of expression while living under the restrictive shadows of authoritarian rule.
S16E02 Smash His Camera 00/00/0000 Widely considered to be the world's first paparazzi photographer, the controversial American photojournalist Ron Galella was sued by Jackie Kennedy and had his jaw broken by Marlon Brando. Throughout a career spanning more than 40 years, Galella's stalking tactics have attracted criticism, hostility and lawsuits. But his relentless pursuit of the famous has enabled him to amass an archive of 3 million photographs that represent a unique record of modern American celebrity culture. In this film, the award-winning programme-maker Leon Gast follows Galella as he revisits some of his old haunts and recalls his encounters with the stars who have tried - and usually failed - to evade his lens.
S16E03 The Weird Adventures of Eadweard Muybridge 00/00/0000 Pioneer photographer, forefather of cinema, showman, murderer - Eadweard Muybridge was a Victorian enigma. He was born and died in Kingston upon Thames, but did his most famous work in California - freezing time and starting it up again, so that for the first time people could see how a racing horse's legs moved. He went on to animate the movements of naked ladies, wrestlers, athletes, elephants, cockatoos and his own naked body, projecting his images publicly with a machine he invented and astounding audiences worldwide with the first flickerings of cinema. Alan Yentob follows in Muybridge's footsteps as he makes - and often changes - his name, and sets off to kill his young wife's lover. With Andy Serkis as Muybridge.
S16E04 Bruce Springsteen: Darkness Revisited 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob presents this special edition of Thom Zimny's documentary in which Bruce Springsteen describes his attempts to create a sequel to one of the most popular albums of all time, sealing his legendary status in the tortured, but ultimately triumphant, process. Darkness on the Edge of Town was Springsteen's make-or-break follow-up to the classic 1975 album Born To Run - the recording that made him a superstar. In the period before the album was made, Springsteen was mired in a protracted legal battle that thwarted his desire to produce an album that would surpass his previous achievements. Zimny's film shows the young Springsteen driving himself, his band and his manager almost to distraction in his search for perfection, as he writes and records new compositions and produces ground-breaking work in song after song. Zimny's film features reflections from Springsteen, manager Jon Landau and members of the all-important E-Street Band on the extraordinary process of making this crucial rock 'n' roll album. It includes visceral, previously-unseen black-and-white footage shot between 1976 and 1978 from the rehearsals that took place both at Springsteen's home and at the Record Plant recording studio in New York.
S16E05 Ben-Hur 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob learns what links Radio 4 soap The Archers with Ben-Hur, one of the most epic Hollywood blockbusters of all time, as he charts the progress of 350 "everyday folk" as they benefit from an unusual bequest. Margot Boyd, the actress who played Ambridge's Mrs Antrobus, wanted ordinary people to experience the joy and excitement of being involved in theatre. They took up the challenge, and spent a year preparing to perform Ben-Hur on stage in Bath's historic Theatre Royal.
S16E06 Ray Davies - Imaginary Man 00/00/0000 As the creative powerhouse behind hugely influential band The Kinks, Ray Davies was responsible for writing some of the best-loved songs of the 60s, including pop classics You Really Got Me, Tired of Waiting For You, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Sunny Afternoon and Waterloo Sunset. Alan Yentob meets Davies, a unique talent who describes with rare candour his troubled relationship with fame and the vicissitudes of his career. They also discuss a new album of Klassic Kinks Kollaborations which is near completion and features musical luminaries such as Bruce Springsteen, Mumford and Sons and Metallica.
S16E07 The Trouble with Tolstoy - 1. At War with Himself 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob takes an epic train ride through Tolstoy's Russia, examining how Russia's great novelist became her great troublemaker. In this programme, he reveals a difficult and troubled youth, obsessed with sex and gambling, who turned writer while serving as a soldier in Chechnya and the Crimea. His experiences on the frontline eventually fed into War and Peace, a book now recognised as, 'the gold standard by which all other novels are judged'. They also triggered his conversion to outspoken pacifist. Alan's expedition takes him to the Tatar city of Kazan, where Tolstoy was a teenager, the siege of Sevastopol on the Black Sea and Imperial St Petersburg, as well as the idyllic Tolstoy country estate, the writer's cradle and grave, and home throughout his passionate but brutal 48-year marriage to Sofya - a marriage that began with rape, produced 13 children and ended with desertion and denial. Contributors include Tolstoy's great great grandson Vladimir Tolstoy, AN Wilson and author of a new Tolstoy biography, Rosamund Bartlett.
S16E08 The Trouble with Tolstoy - 2. In Search of Happiness 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob continues his train ride through Tolstoy's Russia, examining how Russia's great novelist became her great troublemaker. The success of War and Peace brought Tolstoy fame, wealth and a massive mid-life crisis. Alan follows the writer through the tortured second half of his life as he transformed himself from aristocrat to anarchist and turned his back on his novels, his possessions and finally his wife of 48 years. Alan travels east into the remote emptiness of the Russian steppe, through the dark, pages of Tolstoy's great romantic novel, Anna Karenina, on to the small town where Anna takes her life, and then on the pilgrimage to the spectacular monastery where Tolstoy's spiritual quest began. Using extraordinary early film of Tolstoy, we witness the tumultuous events of Tolstoy's final years and his passionate relationship with his disciple Chertkov, the man his wife called "the devil incarnate". Finally, Alan retraces Tolstoy's flight from home at the age of 82, a journey that ended in a remote railway station. Heartbreaking archive footage shows his wife Sofya being turned away from the deathbed of her husband. So great was Tolstoy's influence at the time of his death that the government feared the news would spark revolution. Contributors include leading Russian commentators, as well as AN Wilson and the author of a new Tolstoy biography, Rosamund Bartlett.
S17E01 The Man Who Forgot How to Read and Other Stories 00/00/0000 Presenter Alan Yentob meets clinical neurologist and author Dr Oliver Sacks to investigate the myriad ways we experience the visual world and the strange things that can happen when our mind fails to understand what our eyes see. In the course of this investigation, Yentob tells the life story of Dr Oliver Sacks, the man who would become one of the world's most famous scientists. Alan delves into this world by going to meet several of the case studies from Sacks latest book, The Mind's Eye. He meets Stereo Sue, neurobiologist Sue Barry, who always saw the world as a flat 2D image until she suddenly acquired stereoscopic 3D vision in her late forties; Canadian crime writer Howard Engel, the man who forgot how to read, who remarkably continues to write despite a stroke that destroyed his reading ability; Chuck Close, the renowned portrait artist, who cannot recognise or remember faces and Danny Delcambre, an extraordinary and spirited man who, although having a condition which means he was born deaf and is gradually going blind, lives life to the full and uses close-up photography to record the world around him. Often overlapping with these case studies is Sacks' own story. Here, doctor and patient combine as he talks about his childhood, his own struggle with face blindness, and the loss he felt when eye cancer recently destroyed his 3D vision.
S17E02 The Pharaohs' Museum on Liberation Square 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob visits Egypt's National Museum, possibly the most precious museum in the world, with its dust-covered collection of thousands upon thousands of priceless ancient antiquities. The museum was caught up in the revolution on Cairo's Tahrir Square, standing right at the centre of the action. Its precious cargo was looted, and young revolutionaries formed a cordon around it to protect it. The museum is the heart of Egypt, containing the key not just to the country's past but to its future, offering inspiration and hope. Alan discovers that the pharaohs were not the slave-drivers of Hollywood legend, and that 4,000 years ago there was another revolution, foreshadowing today's, and even a goddess of social justice. With Omar Sharif and novelist Ahdaf Soueif.
S17E03 Lennon: The New York Years 00/00/0000 In September 1971, two years after the Beatles split up, John Lennon, dispirited and disillusioned with life in England, escaped across the Atlantic to New York City. He was tired of the constant scrutiny and criticism at home, and hated the venomous press hounding him and Yoko Ono. He dreamt of starting a peaceful new life in a city he'd come to love. Instead what followed was more like a rollercoaster ride: a tempestuous period in his relationship, a battle against the US immigration authorities, and a famous wild spell: the 'lost weekend'. Michael Epstein's fascinating film, featuring previously unseen archive footage and unprecedentedly candid interviews with key figures including Yoko Ono, charts this little-known period of Lennon's life - the years leading up to his untimely death.
S17E04 Harry Nilsson: The Missing Beatle 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob introduces John Scheinfeld's documentary Harry Nilsson - The Missing Beatle, a film that tells the story of the riotous life and music of Harry Nilsson. Nilsson, a friend and hero of Lennon's, was one of the most successful and influential, but least known, songwriters of his generation. He is remembered as much for his wild lifestyle as for his outstanding performance of Everybody's Talkin' from the movie soundtrack Midnight Cowboy. The film showcases new and archived audio and film, including home movies, music videos, promotional films and segments from the unreleased documentary made during the recording of Son Of Schmilsson, Did Somebody Drop His Mouse? The film also features interviews with Robin Williams, Yoko Ono, Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Ray Cooper, the Smothers Brothers and Micky Dolen
S17E05 Iraq in Venice 00/00/0000 Iraq and art are not words that usually go together. Yet this year, for the first time since Saddam Hussein's rise to power some 35 years ago, Iraq has a presence at the Venice Biennale - the show that is the Cannes Film Festival or the Olympics of the international art world calendar. Thousands of years ago, Iraq was the cradle of civilisation - Mesopotamia, the 'land between two rivers' - the Garden of Eden. Decades of despotism, destruction and despair have stifled its art, but now, despite all the dangers and difficulties, art is re-emerging. Jill Nicholls' film tells the moving stories of six Iraqi artists, all scattered around the world, and follows them as they prepare their work for Venice. The artists include Halim Al Karim, who survived for three years in a hole in the desert, escaping conscription into the Iran Iraq war; as well as Walid Siti, dreaming of the mountains of Kurdistan in his East London studio and going back to Iraq to gather images for his work. Also Ali Assaf, poetically evoking his home town of Basra back in the days when it was called the Venice of the East; and Ahmed Al Soudani, whose visceral paintings of violence and chaos sell for six-figure sums. The theme of this Iraqi show is not war but water - 'wounded water'. There is a water shortage crisis looming - already a litre of drinking water costs as much in Iraq as a litre of oil. The artists explore this issue through contaminated dates (once the pride of Basra, until Saddam deliberately destroyed 20 million date palms), dried-up waterfalls in Kurdistan (the fountainhead on which all of Iraq depends), and outsize taps looming over piles of plastic bottles. But the work is always imaginative, never just didactic. This is an epoch-making event in the history of a war-torn country. The film opens a new window on that world, seeing it through the eyes of artists who have been torn away from it.
S17E06 U2: From the Sky Down 00/00/0000 Imagine presents a feature-length documentary about the making of U2's seminal album Achtung Baby. Early in 2011, U2 returned to Hansa Studio in Berlin to discuss the making of Achtung Baby in this film directed by Academy Award winner Davis Guggenheim (It Might Get Loud, Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth). From The Sky Down was then selected to open the Toronto International Film Festival on 8 September, the first ever documentary to open the festival in its 36-year history. Twenty years after the 1991 release of Achtung Baby, Davis Guggenheim traces the album's genesis using animation and previously unseen footage from Berlin and Dublin alongside interviews with the band as they reflect on what was a key chapter in their career. 'In the terrain of rock bands - implosion or explosion is seemingly inevitable. U2 has defied the gravitational pull towards destruction... this band has endured and thrived. From The Sky Down asks the question why.' Davis Guggenheim.
S18E01 Grayson Perry and the Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman 00/00/0000 Artist Grayson Perry has been working behind the scenes at the British Museum to stage his most ambitious show yet: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman. Given free rein to choose whatever he wants from the Museum's vast collections, Perry has also produced some 25 new works of art, from his trademark ceramics to a working motorbike. Imagine follows Perry for more than two years as he creates his own imaginary civilisation at the heart of the British Museum.
S18E02 Simon and Garfunkel - The Harmony Game 00/00/0000 In Jennifer Lebeau's film, Simon and Garfunkel: The Harmony Game, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel talk openly and eloquently about an extraordinarily creative period in their career - the making of Bridge Over Troubled Water. The story behind what was to become their final album has long been shrouded in rock and roll mythology and is told in gripping detail in these rare interviews. Archive footage is used to reveal technical breakthroughs and the emotional feelings the two artists had for each other.
S18E03 Alan Ayckbourn - Greetings from Scarborough 00/00/0000 Sir Alan Ayckbourn is often described as the world's most performed living playwright. Yet it is his popularity that has often led to him being overlooked as a serious dramatist in the UK. As he premieres his 75th play in his seaside theatre in Scarborough, Imagine sets out to discover why Ayckbourn is so popular, and a chorus of distinguished fans explain why he must be recognised as one of the great dramatists of our time.
S18E04 Vidal Sassoon - A Cut Above 00/00/0000 Vidal Sassoon is more than a hairdresser - he created styles that defined a generation. Craig Teper's film charts the career of the man who invented the bob-cut and, over the course of more than fifty years, created one of the most recognisable brands in the beauty business.
S18E05 The Lost Music of Rajasthan 00/00/0000 The arts series takes a road trip round the desert state of Rajasthan, meeting musicians whose existence is under threat from the new India. They meet Bhopa bards who recite four-night-long epics in front of huge hand-painted scrolls, saffron-clad, chillum-smoking sisters, cross-dressers and gypsy dancers who literally bend over backwards to pick up rupees.
S18E06 Books - The Last Chapter? 00/00/0000 With the rise of electronic books, is the final chapter about to be written in the long love story between books and their readers? Will the app take the place of the traditional book? Alan Yentob discusses the subject with writers Alan Bennett, Douglas Coupland, Ewan Morrison and Gary Shteyngart, publisher Gail Rebuck, agent Ed Victor and librarian Rachael Morrison. They also smell books, making precise notes about the distinctive aroma of each.
S18E07 The Art Of Stand-Up (Part One) 00/00/0000 Alan talks to comedians both in Britain and America, finding out their about different backgrounds and influences and their passion for making people laugh.
S18E08 The Art Of Stand-Up (Part Two) 00/00/0000 The second of a two-part series for Imagine on the art of stand-up comedy. Alan Yentob talks to comedians in Britain and America, exploring the evolution of stand-up and how it transfers to other mediums. He also joins Eddie Izzard backstage for the first solo stand-up show at the Hollywood Bowl.
S19E01 Theatre of War 00/00/0000 From rehearsal room to triumphant performance, imagine... follows the extraordinary theatrical production of The Two Worlds of Charlie F. Professional front line soldiers, all of whom have sustained injury ranging from amputation to post traumatic stress, join forces with a professional theatre company to help write, rehearse and perform a play based on their experiences of war in the killing fields of Afghanistan. What happened when they swapped the theatre of war for the London stage?
S19E02 Paul Simon's Graceland - Under African Skies 00/00/0000 Paul Simon's Graceland album is one of his greatest achievements - a brilliant fusion of African rhythms and western pop which became a global phenomenon. It also proved hugely controversial, as Simon broke the UN-backed cultural boycott of a country still under the grip of apartheid. Joe Berlinger's film captures Simon's return to South Africa 25 years on and contrasts the value of individual artistic expression versus collective political action as instruments of change. Did Paul Simon's unique collaboration with South Africa's township musicians set back the clock of South African liberation or drive it forward?
S19E03 Just One Falsetto 00/00/0000 From the Beach Boys to Queen and Jeff Buckley, falsetto singing has a long and distinguished presence in all types of music, one that continues to fascinate and enthral audiences. Alan Yentob delves into the world of falsetto singing, the high-pitched vocal range sung by men that comes closer to the female voice, and discovers why falsetto can express emotions that could not otherwise be achieved. With contributors including Frankie Valli, Brian May, Philip Bailey from Earth, Wind and Fire and Harrow School Chapel Choir, imagine... asks why men are compelled to sing in such a voice.
S19E04 Glasgow: The Grit and the Glamour 00/00/0000 imagine... explores the story of a group of artists and curators who stormed the international art world and turned their home city of Glasgow into a global capital for contemporary art. Amongst the artists Alan Yentob encounters are 2011 Turner Prize-winner Martin Boyce, as well as previous winners Douglas Gordon, Simon Starling and Richard Wright, to tell the story of a city now as famed for its contemporary art as it was for its shipbuilding.
S19E05 Dancing with Titian 00/00/0000 With three of Titian's mythological paintings of the goddess Diana being shown together for the first time at the National Gallery, Alan is behind the scenes of a collaboration with the Royal Ballet. He talks to the creative team transforming the works into contemporary dance.
S20E01 Ian Rankin and the Case of the Disappearing Detective 00/00/0000 Britain's most successful crime writer, Ian Rankin, invites imagine... to get up close and personal and follow him as he writes his next novel. Maverick cop DI John Rebus propelled Rankin to fame as an author, but having retired his most famous creation five years ago, Rankin is now faced with a dilemma: what will he write about next? Through Rankin's own video diary footage, we see him wrestle with his demons and numerous unfolding plots. Will they lead to a dead end? Alan Yentob and imagine... were there on the first day of writing and on the very day Ian Rankin finished the novel. Tune in to find out the result.
S20E02 Do or Die: Lang Lang's Story 00/00/0000 From child prodigy to global phenomenon, Alan Yentob reveals the extraordinary life of Lang Lang, China's classical music superstar. With sell-out concerts around the world and a growing popularity that reaches far beyond traditional classical audiences, Lang Lang has redefined the idea of the celebrity concert pianist. His ability to connect with a younger generation has played a significant role in inspiring over 40 million Chinese children to take up the piano. In this feature-length documentary, imagine... explores the compelling personal story behind the Lang Lang phenomenon.
S20E03 Lang Lang 00/00/0000 The pianist performs Chopin and Beethoven at Latitude, Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.
S20E04 The Many Lives of William Klein 00/00/0000 William Klein has lived many lives. One of the world's most influential photographers, he pioneered the art of street photography and created some of the most iconic fashion images of the 20th century. He also made over twenty films, including the first ever documentary about Muhammad Ali and a brilliant satire of the fashion world, Who Are You Polly Magoo? With a major Tate Modern exhibition currently celebrating his work, imagine... spends time with William Klein to discover the irrepressible, charismatic personality behind a remarkable creative life.
S20E05 How Music Makes Us Feel 00/00/0000 Many people turn to music when words are not enough, at funerals and weddings, at times of heartbreak and euphoria. It seems to hold more emotion and go deeper than words. Musicians as varied as Emeli Sande, who enthralled the world when she sang at the Olympics, opera diva Jessye Norman, dubstep artist Mala and modern classical composer George Benjamin explain how music makes them feel. Alan Yentob also talks to a vicar, a psychologist, a Hollywood composer, an adman and even the people who choose the music played in shopping malls. He sees babies dance to a rhythm, and old people brought forth out of silence by the power of music.
S20E06 Jeanette Winterson: My Monster and Me 00/00/0000 Nearly 30 years after her triumphant debut novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson returns with Alan Yentob to the scene of her childhood in Lancashire. She was adopted and brought up to be a missionary by the larger-than-life Mrs Winterson, but Jeanette followed a different path - she found literature, fell in love with a girl and escaped to university. Following her recent memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, she tells the story of her recent breakdown and suicide attempt, her quest to find her birth mother and how the power of books helped her to survive.
S20E07 A Beauty is Born: Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty 18/12/2012 Matthew Bourne is Britain's most commercially successful choreographer. A virtuoso storyteller, he famously reimagined the traditional Swan Lake ballet with muscular male swans, instantly creating a worldwide hit. Now he is reinterpreting Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty. imagine... and Alan Yentob have exclusive access to the creative process, from first workshops to final rehearsals with set and costumes, and the programme revisits Bourne's many ground-breaking shows to chart his inexorable rise.
S21E01 Vivian Maier - Who Took Nanny's Pictures? 00/00/0000 The incredible story of a mysterious nanny who died in 2009 leaving behind a secret hoard - thousands of stunning photographs. Never seen in her lifetime, they were found by chance in a Chicago storage locker and auctioned off cheaply. Now Vivian Maier has gone viral and her magical pictures sell for thousands of dollars. Vivian was a tough street photographer, a secret poet of suburbia. In life she was a recluse, a hoarder, spinning tall tales about her French roots. Presented by Alan Yentob, the film includes stories from those who knew her and those who revealed her astonishing work.
S21E02 McCullin 02/07/2013 imagine... presents McCullin, a powerful documentary portrait of legendary British war photographer and photojournalist Don McCullin. Told through a series of searingly honest and often graphic interviews, McCullin recounts a life lived in the theatre of war - from his first assignment with the violent teenage gangs on his home turf of Finsbury Park, to capturing international conflicts of the past 50 years. The film lays bare McCullin's disgust for the destruction of human life, juxtaposed with the adrenaline rush of a life spent under enemy fire.
S21E03 Rod Stewart: Can't Stop Me Now 00/00/0000 From beatnik to mod, from folkie to disco tart, from glam rocker to, most recently, crooner of American standards, Rod Stewart has had a remarkable musical journey. Alan Yentob visits Rod at his homes in Beverly Hills and Essex and talks to his friends and family, including all eight children aged from two years old to 50. Featuring rare archival footage of Rod when he was barely out of his teens and living above his parents' north London sweetshop, lmagine examines an entertaining career across five musical decades.
S21E04 Woody Allen: A Documentary - Part One 00/00/0000 imagine... presents Robert B Weide's intimate two-part study of the multi-Oscar winning New York auteur. In this first part, Woody Allen talks candidly about his childhood in Brooklyn, his early fame as a stand-up in New York City and his first forays into screenwriting and filmmaking. He discusses his prolific body of work, which includes some of the most memorable cinematic moments of all time. With unprecedented access to the director, Weide reveals the man behind the trademark glasses.
S21E05 Woody Allen: A Documentary - Part Two 00/00/0000 imagine... presents the second part of Robert B Weide's intimate profile of Woody Allen. The New York writer, director and actor doesn't shy away from discussing his sometimes controversial relationships with the leading ladies in his life, or the hits and misses of an unparalleled body of work spanning five decades of filmmaking. Contributors including Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Scarlett Johansson and John Cusack join Allen's family of filmmakers for a unique insight into one of the most obsessive and enduring directors of all time.
S21E06 Zaha Hadid: Who Dares Wins 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob profiles the most successful female architect there has ever been, Zaha Hadid, who has designed buildings around the globe - everywhere from Austria to Azerbaijan.
S21E07 Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin' 00/00/0000 In just four years, Jimi Hendrix revolutionised the music scene with his transcendent sound and explosive stage presence. A peacock, poet and perfectionist, he was a true original, who restlessly pushed his musical gifts to their extremes. imagine... tells the story of how this shy, former private in the 101st Airborne became the greatest rock guitarist of all time, using never-before-seen performance footage, home movies and family letters. With contributions from the Hendrix family, Sir Paul McCartney, and former band mates Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, imagine... presents an in-depth look at Hendrix's life and career that was tragically cut short at just 27 years old in 1970.
S21E08 Edmund de Waal: Make Pots or Die 00/00/0000 Edmund de Waal is the bestselling author of The Hare With The Amber Eyes, a family memoir that captured the hearts of millions. But he isn't just a writer; from the age of five he has been making thousands and thousands of pots. After 45 years, he is exhibiting his work for the first time in America and researching his next book, a globe-spanning journey through porcelain. imagine... follows Edmund over a remarkable year.
S21E09 Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy 00/00/0000 For generations of Jewish songwriters, the bright lights of Broadway have been a catalyst for transformation. New York's musical theatres offered a chance for those who had fled persecution and oppression to make it big in America. On Broadway, the idea of outsiders beating the odds could be dramatised in a uniquely American art form, with melodies derived from Jewish prayers inspiring catchy new songs that tens of millions around the world would come to embrace. imagine... looks at the unique role Jews have played in creating the modern American musical, from Porgy and Bess to West Side Story and Cabaret. Featuring performances by Broadway's most creative talents, plus a medley of amazing archive footage and interviews, the film explores the work of some of America's pre-eminent musical maestros - including Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Kurt Weill, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Jule Styne.
S21E10 Turning the Art World Inside Out 00/00/0000 What do a UFO-obsessed Romanian refugee, a schizophrenic Italian war veteran, and an 80-year-old sex-mad Russian woman have in common? Answer: They are all outsider artists. After the huge success of recent shows in Venice, London and Paris, interest in Outsider Art has never been higher. But what exactly is it? How do we define it? And who are its gurus and leading lights? Alan Yentob explores this captivating, compelling and magical alternative art universe. Why in 2013 is Outsider Art finally being feted by the art establishment, and what took it so long? imagine... embarks on a worldwide journey to meet some visionary creators, and their equally obsessive collectors and enthusiasts.
S21E11 Hitler, the Tiger, and Me 00/00/0000 Look up "spry" in the dictionary and you might see a picture of children's author Judith Kerr, who turned 90 this June, but still bounded up the stairs to the her attic study, leaving Imagine host Alan Yentob panting behind her. She also walks around Barnes, in south-west London, for an hour every evening, takes a sip of martini every day at lunch and dismisses the Janet and John learn-to-read series as "boring". My kind of woman. What a pleasure it was to look at the world through Kerr's eyes for a little while in Imagine – Hitler, the Tiger and Me on BBC1. She hasn't ceased her eager observation for 80-odd years and in that time has produced beautiful sketches, paintings, textiles and illustrations, all almost as lively as the artist herself. It's this creative curiosity, inherited from her father, that has been her lifelong solace. "He was looking at things all the time and if you do that, you don't despair. He would say, 'Yes, this is bad, but it's interesting.'" Alfred Kerr was a leading Jewish intellectual in pre-war Berlin, but escaped with his family in the nick of time. The Nazis came to power the day after they left for England. On a trip back to her childhood home, Judith told the little girl now living there about her wartime experience, "It wasn't so sad, it was very interesting." In fact, as she later acknowledged, the trauma of these years cast a long shadow over her family, especially her mother, who bore the greatest amount of stress and attempted suicide several times. Kerr drew on this these years in her semi-autobiographical books for older children, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and The Other Way Round. This Imagine was an example of the increased cultural significance children's books are now accorded and it's good to see. Making children laugh is a noble pursuit. As Michael Rosen, another great in the genre, usefully pointed out, there are darker
S21E12 Who's Afraid of Machiavelli? 03/12/2013 With performances from Peter Capaldi, imagine... marks the 500th anniversary of Machiavelli's notorious book The Prince. Famous for lines like 'It is better to be feared than loved', The Prince has been a manual for tyrants from Napoleon to Stalin. But how relevant is The Prince today, and who are the 21st century Machiavellians? Alan Yentob talks to contributors including Colonel Tim Collins, who kept a copy of The Prince with him in Iraq; plus Hilary Devey, Alastair Campbell and Game of Thrones writer George RR Martin.
S00E01 The Plinth, the Model, the Artist and his Sculpture 00/00/0000 In 2005, an extraordinary sculpture by leading Brit artist Marc Quinn of a naked, heavily pregnant, disabled Alison Lapper was unveiled on the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. It's a project that's been dogged with controversy. Following the creation of Alison Lapper Pregnant over five years, this film tells the compelling story of how two very different people came together to challenge preconceptions about beauty and what is considered normal.
S00E02 The Beatles in Love 00/00/0000 Film documenting the creation of Love, a spectacular collaboration bringing together the magic of The Beatles' music with the imagination of Cirque Du Soleil. The project was initially the idea of George Harrison, two years before his death from cancer in 2001. Sir George Martin, along with his son/co-producer Giles Martin demonstrate the process by which the soundtrack was created. Also features interviews with Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.
S00E03 Damon and Jamie's Excellent Adventure 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob presents a documentary about cartoon pop group Gorillaz' foray into the world of Chinese opera, with Damon Albarn composing his first full length score and Jamie Hewlett designing a myriad of gigantic sets and elaborate costumes. Drawing on the 1970s cult television series, Monkey - Journey to the West has a cast that includes the cloud-hopping, mountain-somersaulting Monkey, his mates Pigsy, Sandy and Tripitaka, plus acrobats, martial artists, umbrella-twirling girls, a horse-eating dragon, a skeleton demon and a giant Buddha. Produced by Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris), in co-production with Manchester International Festival and the State Opera House in Berlin, they present a new contemporary opera entirely in Mandarin directed by Chen Shi-Zheng. This film follows Albarn and Hewlett on a journey from Beijing to Paris, working with martial artists and acrobats; leading up to its world premiere at the Manchester International Festival.
S00E04 Yes We Can! The Lost Art Of Oratory 00/00/0000 The remarkable election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States has been propelled as much by his exceptional skill as an orator as by any other factor. From the silver-tongued to the tongue-tied, the sublime to the ridiculous, this programme takes a fond look at the art and history of the political speech. Alan Yentob joins the crowds at the inauguration in Washington, and traces the awesome power of orators from Cicero onwards, via Cromwell, Lincoln, Churchill, Hitler, Martin Luther King and many others. Among the contributors are Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Bob Geldof, Neil Kinnock, Ted Sorensen, Tony Benn, William Hague, Geoffrey Howe, Diane Abbott, Charlotte Higgins, Alastair Campbell and Germaine Greer. What makes a good speech great? How much is content, how much is presentation? And has Obama brought eloquence back to 21st-century politics for good?
S00E05 Vincent Van Gogh: Painted with Words 00/00/0000 Drama-documentary presented by Alan Yentob, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role as Van Gogh. Every word spoken by the actors in this film is sourced from the letters that Van Gogh sent to his younger brother Theo, and of those around him. What emerges is a complex portrait of a sophisticated, civilised and yet tormented man. The film won a Rockie for Best Arts Documentary at the Banff World Media Festival in 2011, receiving critical acclaim for its fascinating insight into the life of the artist and its unique approach to storytelling.
S00E06 Stones in Exile 00/00/0000 Alan Yentob introduces a revealing documentary which tells the story of the making of The Rolling Stones' acclaimed 1972 album, Exile on Main Street. Facing huge unpaid tax bills in Britain, the band fled to the French Riviera. Life was crazy and chaotic there, yet the band still managed to make one of the seminal albums of rock and roll history.
S00E07 U2: From the Sky Down 00/00/0000 Imagine presents a feature-length documentary about the making of U2's seminal album Achtung Baby. Early in 2011, U2 returned to Hansa Studio in Berlin to discuss the making of Achtung Baby in this film directed by Academy Award winner Davis Guggenheim (It Might Get Loud, Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth). From The Sky Down was then selected to open the Toronto International Film Festival on 8 September, the first ever documentary to open the festival in its 36-year history. Twenty years after the 1991 release of Achtung Baby, Davis Guggenheim traces the album's genesis using animation and previously unseen footage from Berlin and Dublin alongside interviews with the band as they reflect on what was a key chapter in their career. 'In the terrain of rock bands - implosion or explosion is seemingly inevitable. U2 has defied the gravitational pull towards destruction... this band has endured and thrived. From The Sky Down asks the question why.'
S00E08 The Fatwa - Salman's Story 00/00/0000 Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, tells for the first time the inside story of how it felt to be condemned to death by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, and to spend the next decade in hiding. To coincide with the publication of Rushdie's new book about that time, Alan Yentob has been given unique access to the author and to the bodyguards who lived with him. Friends and writers like Ian McEwan and Hanif Kureshi speak frankly, as do Rushdie's sister, ex-wife and sons.
S00E09 Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender 00/00/0000 Renowned as the bravura front man of one of Britain's greatest rock bands, Freddie Mercury's life outside Queen is rarely celebrated or explored. In a touching portrait, imagine... charts Mercury's solo projects and interests, including a previously unheard collaboration with Michael Jackson and the triumphant Barcelona project with Dame Montserrat Caballe, as well as the life of a gay man who was not yet publicly out. Rare interviews reveal a shy man in search of love, and a driven artist living behind the protection of his stage persona.
S00E10 Beyoncé: Life is But a Dream 00/00/0000 Following in the footsteps of Alan Yentob's 2008 profile of Jay-Z, imagine... presents the much-heralded Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream. With Beyoncé herself in the director's chair, this unique and confessional film combines spectacular showpieces and video diary footage, giving a revealing insight into the life of the 16-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, wife and mother. This is Beyoncé, by Beyoncé.
S00E11 David Bowie - Cracked Actor 00/00/0000 To mark David Bowie's comeback album and a new exhibition at the V&A, Alan Yentob looks back at his legendary 1975 documentary, Cracked Actor. The film follows Bowie during the Diamond Dogs tour of 1974. Alan Yentob says "I'd caught him at what was an intensely creative time, but it was also physically and emotionally gruelling. Our encounters tended to take place in hotel rooms in the early hours of the morning or in snatched conversations in the back of limousines. He was fragile and exhausted, but also prepared to open up and talk in a way he had never really done before." Cracked Actor has become one of the classic rock documentaries of all time, remaining an enduring influence on generations of Bowie fans.
S00E12 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Studio 31/01/2006 Critics say the British sitcom is dead by virtue of its middle-aged, middle-class "appeal". Why then are our finest comic writers and performers making prize-winning shows? As he talks to Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Armando Iannucci, Graham Linehan and Chris Langham - and makes a surprise entrance on My Family - Alan Yentob finds the genre in rude health.
S00E13 Sitting Comfortably 07/02/2006 Self-confessed chair addict Alan Yentob encounters a vast range of his objects of desire in this whimsical journey through the changing styles of the modern chair - a furniture item intimately and inextricably intertwined with the physicality of our everyday lives, whose look has been transformed over the centuries by designers such as Le Corbusier and Terence Conran , from hand-crafted descendants of royal thrones to wipe-clean plastic garden chairs.
S00E14 Alan Yentob interviews Robert B Weide 00/00/0000
S00E15 The Art of Stand-up: Billy Connolly in Conversation 00/00/0000 Red Button extra for the two part series The Art of Stand-up
S00E16 The Art of Stand-up: Eddie Izzard Live at the Hollywood Bowl 00/00/0000 Red Button extra for the two part series The Art of Stand-up
S00E17 One Night In 2012 17/07/2016 Alan Yentob tells the story of London's Olympic Opening Ceremony, as seen through the eyes of its artistic director Danny Boyle, his creative team and just some of the thousands of volunteers who worked to make it happen. The documentary relates how they united in the face of a cynical nation and produced a warm-up act like no other.
S00E18 The Handmade Films of William Kentridge (1) 23/11/2016 A look at the work of South African artist William Kentridge who first became well known for making hand-drawn animations featuring a pair of alter egos, set in the urban-industrial landscape of Johannesburg. His first film in the series is Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris (1989). The work reflects the oppressive world of the Apartheid era and South Africa's painful transition into a multiracial democracy and was created over many months as Kentridge painstakingly filmed and erased the drawings frame by frame. Introduced by the artist and Alan Yentob.
S00E19 The Handmade Films of William Kentridge (2) 23/11/2016 A look at the work of South African artist William Kentridge who first became well known for making hand-drawn animations featuring a pair of alter egos, set in the urban-industrial landscape of Johannesburg. Felix in Exile (1994) reflects the increasing political violence and civil unrest in South Africa as Apartheid came to an end. Introduced by the artist and Alan Yentob.
S00E20 Elgar and the Missing Piano Concerto 22/11/2005 Famous for his cello and violin concertos, it's not widely known that Edward Elgar also wrote sketches for a piano concerto. This often hilarious film shows how the embryonic piece - a performance of which follows - came to life.
S00E21 Amos Oz: the Conscience of Israel 30/11/2005 Tragedy and history loom large in the background of writer and political commentator Amos Oz. His memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness is an eyewitness account of the birth of Israel. Alan Yentob takes Oz back to his childhood for a fascinating portrait of the state's early years - and his views on the Palestine conflict.
S00E22 Chuck Close , Close Up 07/12/2005 As a child, portrait painter Chuck Close was written off as a failure because his dyslexia remained undiagnosed. Then, in 1988, he was partially paralysed by a stroke. Undaunted by these hardships, he continued to paint and his latest work is on display at London's National Portrait Gallery. Alan Yentob meets the American artist in New York.
S00E23 Rhythm Is It! Can art change lives? 14/12/2005 Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra believe so - but can they convince 250 underprivileged teenagers from suburban Berlin? The aim is to stage Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps, and Royston Maldoom is the British choreographer who must persuade the reluctant youngsters to get their steps up to performance standard. Alan Yentob presents.
S00E24 Sweet Home New Orleans 17/01/2006 Could New Orleans's days as a great musical powerhouse be coming to an end? As Alan Yentob traces the city's vast musical heritage, he meets musicians who have lived and worked there all their lives, and are determined to return despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina last year. With contributions from Paul McCartney , Dr John, Jools Holland and Elvis Costello.
S00E25 Warhol: Denied 24/01/2006 The joy of some collectors at owning what they believed to be genuine Andy Warhol works has been ruined by the artist's authentication board's declaring them fake. They speak of their disillusionment here as Alan Yentob visits New York to investigate acquiring art by the "Pope of Pop", while Warhol collaborators reveal his unusual working methods.