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ITV commissions new run of films for its Perspectives documentary strand

Published: Thu 13 Feb 2014

Perspectives for 2014
 
ITV has commissioned a brand new run of films for its Perspectives documentary strand, bringing together powerful stories and unique insights into the arts from a range of well-known figures.
 
Now in its fourth year, the strand will encompass six films from a rich variety of distinctive individuals offering their take on subjects for which they have a personal enthusiasm and fascination.  
 
Perspectives’ diverse range takes in Bruce Forsyth on Sammy Davis Junior and Gary Kemp on the Young British Artists, while Will Young explores the life of artist Rene Magritte and Alfie Boe looks at the frontman of Queen, Freddie Mercury. Emeli Sandé delves into the history of one of her heroines, Frida Kahlo, and Alan Davies explores the secrets and mysteries surrounding Houdini.
 
Perspectives is commissioned for ITV by Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual and Richard Klein, Director of Factual.
 
Jo said: “The key to Perspectives films is a distinctive, individual voice, keen to search for and share fresh insights through genuine, in some cases, life-long passion and curiosity for the chosen subject.  Building on the success of previous years, with an equally diverse, and surprising, range of both individual and subject matter, we are hugely excited about this new run of documentaries for 2014.”
 
Perspectives, to be shown in one-hour slots, will transmit on ITV in Spring 2014.
 
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Bruce Forsyth on Sammy Davis Junior
 
Sir Bruce Forsyth first met Sammy Davis Jr in 1960 at The Royal Variety Performance, and it was the beginning of a long friendship.
 
Believing him to be the greatest song and dance act ever, Bruce looks back over Sammy's 60-year career, during which he came to be acknowledged as the most distinguished all-round entertainer in the world and, as a black performer, played an important role in breaking down racial barriers. Directed by Ian Denyer for Rain Media Entertainment.
 
Will Young on Rene Magritte
 
Having first discovered Rene Magritte’s art as a 14-year-old, singer Will Young was immediately struck by Magritte’s strange distortions of familiar objects and his subversive humour. So much so that Will opened his last tour donning a bowler hat and raincoat, so synonymous with Magritte.
 
In this film, Will goes in search of Magritte the artist and Magritte the man, along the way peering through the window that famously appears in his work. Following in the footsteps of this most famous of Belgians, Will visits Magritte’s place of birth, the site of a tragedy that struck the Magritte family, and ends his journey at Magritte's final resting place. Directed by Michael Burke for Blakeway North.
 
Alfie Boe on Freddie Mercury
 
One of Alfie Boe's greatest influences has always been the enigmatic frontman of Queen, Freddie Mercury, with his own musical career being fused with a passion for the rock band. As an early rock-opera experiment, a young Boe made a demo for Queen’s sound engineers at Abbey Road, and last year performed on stage with its lead guitarist, Brian May.
 
In this film, Alfie, one of Britain's best-loved tenors, explores the life of his hero to discover more about the man behind the music. Including unseen footage of Freddie Mercury at college, soon after his family arrived in England, just how did the flamboyant persona emerge and what lay behind Freddie's move from rock to opera?Directed by Harvey Lilley for Brook Lapping.
 
Gary Kemp on the Young British Artists
 
Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp investigates the modern art world, 25 years since it was rocked on its heels by by the arrival of Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and the other Young British Artists. 
 
While better known as a musician and actor, Gary is also an art enthusiast, building up his own significant collection of British art, as well as furniture. He argues that it was the rock and roll style of the YBAs which made contemporary art relevant and altered the cultural life of Britain.
 
Kemp considers the extent to which the YBAs,  with their love of glitz and glamour and outrageous posturing,  act more like rock stars from his own world, in a film which includes interviews with several YBAs, including Sam Taylor-Wood, Gavin Turk and Jake Chapman. Directed by Richard Curson-Smith for Snapper TV.
 
Emeli Sandé on Frida Kahlo
 
Multiple Brit Award winner Emeli Sandé embarks on a pilgrimage to Mexico seeking inspiration in the life and work of her great idol, Frida Kahlo. 
 
Emeli, who has a large tattoo of Kahlo on her arm, searches for a deeper understanding of the artist and looks at what drove her to create some of the most emotionally charged and compelling works in all of 20th century painting. The singer visits the places that inspired Frida, meeting those who knew her best and delving into the rich archive that remains of her life. Directed by Matthew Hill for Blakeway North.
 
Alan Davies on Houdini
 
Having had a huge fascination with the world of magic since he was four-years-old, Alan Davies explores the extraordinary life of illusionist and stunt performer, Harry Houdini, the man who against the odds became one of the most successful entertainers in the world.
 
In a bid to understand why Houdini felt compelled to perform such terrifying death defying acts, Alan tries to hold his breath under ice cold water, lies on a bed of nails, gets strung upside down in a straitjacket and takes an exclusive look at David Copperfield's priceless collection of Houdini artefacts in Vegas. Directed by Louise Hooper for What Larks!
 
Note to editors: All individual programme headings are working titles.  Final titles will be confirmed closer to TX.