BBC Radio 2 is to broadcast a two-part documentary ‘Up Close With George Michael’ looking behind the scenes at his orchestral tour Symphonica.
In the show, the content of which will also create a television documentary for BBC One, George tells the story of the tour and the making of the album, also entitled ‘Symphonica’, which is released this month. George talks openly about his prison experience, his drug rehabilitation and how he rewarded himself by going on tour in 2011/2012. The two-part special also includes interviews with his song-writing partner and oldest friend David Austin plus Dawn French, Shirlie Kemp, James Corden and producer Phil Ramone. The Symphonica album was Ramone’s last project before his death in March 2013, and this documentary contains one of his final interviews.
George Michael says: “I’m delighted the BBC is broadcasting the Symphonica concert, which was recorded at the Opera Garnier in Paris, a stunning setting in which to perform a gig dedicated to a charity that’s so close to my heart. It was a magical night, so I’m thrilled that fans will get the chance to experience it, as well as hearing the behind-the-scenes story on Radio 2.”
Jan Younghusband, BBC Commissioning Editor of Music and Events TV, comments: “George Michael is one of the UK’s most iconic figures in entertainment, which makes it an exciting opportunity for our audiences to hear from him in a rare interview, as well as watch his favourite songs being reworked with a live orchestra via two of the BBC’s most popular channels – BBC One and BBC Radio 2.”
‘Up Close with George Michael’ will air on Tuesday 18 and 25 March from 10 to 11pm. Produced by Sue Clark Productions and presented by former Ready Steady Go host Vicki Wickham.