Special programmes on John Lennon, James Dean and Ralph Johnson are just some of the one-off shows on BBC Radio 2 this Autumn.
James Dean: The Last 10 Weeks (Wednesday 30th September at 10-11pm) is presented by Hollywood actor Robert Wagner, and stars two-time Olivier Award nominated Michael Xavier.
This one hour programme is based on James Dean’s last ten weeks, and 60 years on, Robert Wagner tells the story via essays and pictures by Sanford Roth, the photographer who was with James Dean on the day he died, which have recently come to light and give a new insight into the life of an icon.
Lewis Carnie, Head of Programmes, BBC Radio 2, says: “This is just one of a number of compelling programmes I am delighted to be bringing to Radio 2 this Autumn. From music legends to cultural icons to emerging new talent, these shows demonstrate the distinctiveness the network continues to deliver.”
Also, John Lennon’s Last Day (Thursday 8th October, 10-11pm), performed by Ian Hart, is the story of the day he was shot dead.
Liverpool actor Ian Hart, who has played Lennon on three separate occasions, says: “There will always be interest and intrigue into every part of his life, and now we take a sensitive look at the incomprehensible day when he was tragically taken from this world too soon.”
Writer Stephen Kennedy says: “I’m delighted to have my first radio drama commissioned by BBC Radio 2 and ecstatic to have Ian Hart performing in it. In my opinion, no actor has ever captured John Lennon’s character better than Ian did in the film Backbeat. He has extraordinary talent.”
Adding to the Autumn line-up, Jo Whiley will be joined by Bob Harris and Jamie Cullum on Monday 12th October (8-10pm) at the BBC Maida Vale studios with their selection of new artists who have made their route from BBC Introducing now to play live on BBC Radio 2. The show will be filmed and will be in front of an audience.
Jo Whiley say: “With my Radio 2 show, I am privileged to choose, discover and play the audience some new gems which we have found through BBC Introducing and it will be great to have Jamie and Bob with me selecting some new artists they love, too – it should be a brilliant evening of some exciting new talent.”
Also coming to BBC Radio 2 this Autumn, starting on Wednesday 7th October (10-11pm), is a four part series, Ralph Johnson’s Jazz Epicenter 6.7, in which the Earth, Wind & Fire percussionist shares his love of 1960s and ‘70s Jazz.