Leeds-based Wise Owl Films has been commissioned to make two music documentaries to air in prime slots on BBC Two over Christmas and New Year – When Tina Turner Came To Britain and When Motown Came To Britain.
On Christmas Day When Tina Turner Came To Britain features previously unheard interviews with the iconic singer as the programme reveals the full extent of the superstar’s relationship with the UK.
Tina Turner says: “The love, energy and support I’ve had from Britain over the years has been amazing. I couldn’t have enjoyed the career I’ve had without my time spent in the UK and collaborations with amazing British songwriters, musicians and producers.
“I hope you love watching this documentary. From my very first visit to London in 1966 I always enjoyed visiting Britain and performing for fans across the country – it felt like my second home.”
Produced and directed by Dhivya Kate Chetty, the film features contributions from many of those who have met and worked with Tina over the years, plus famous fans including Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware of the Sheffield synth-pop duo Heaven 17, who helped re-launch Tina’s career in the 80s, Skin from Skunk Anansie, and The Tube executive producer Malcolm Gerrie.
When Motown Came To Britain will air on New Year’s Day, and tells the story of the very first UK tour undertaken by musicians on the label, including Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles.
The documentary, produced and directed by Kate Siney, tells the story of how Motown’s brightest new stars arrived in the UK in 1965 for a pioneering tour which saw them perform in locations such as Liverpool, Leicester, Bristol, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Featuring footage shot by Georgie Fame guitarist Colin Green, who joined the Motown stars on the tour, the film sees once teenage Motown fans make an emotional return to where they experienced a night of musical magic all those years ago.
Wise Owl Films’ creative director Mark Robinson said: “We brought the stories of Bob Marley and Nirvana’s time in Britain to BBC Two, as well as the recent celebration of the Hacienda, and now turn our attention to two more musical icons from the world stage.
“Both Motown and Tina Turner changed the sound of popular music as we know it – and each film looks at the key role Britain played in helping them conquer the planet.”