Entertainment & Arts

David Bowie: BBC announces documentary on his final years

David Bowie Image copyright AP
Image caption David Bowie died of cancer in January, aged 69.

The last five years of David Bowie's life will be examined in a new BBC documentary, to be screened on the first anniversary of his death.

The film will focus on the star's final two albums, The Next Day and Blackstar, alongside the stage musical Lazarus, which recently opened in London.

It will be directed by Francis Whately as a follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 documentary, David Bowie: Five Years.

The film will feature new interviews and unseen footage, the BBC said.

The BBC Two documentary will be part of a BBC season marking the anniversary of Bowie's death from cancer in January 2016.

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Media captionTony Visconti speaks about Bowie's swansong in a clip from David Bowie: The Last Five Years

An unreleased a capella vocal Bowie recorded for Lazarus will form part of the film, called David Bowie: The Last Five Years.

Among the contributors are Bowie's long-time producer Tony Visconti and the musicians who played on The Next Day and Blackstar, who will recreate some of the star's final studio sessions.

"I always hoped that I would make another film about Bowie as we were only able to scratch the surface in the first film, but I just didn't expect it to be this soon," Whateley said.

"However, looking at Bowie's extraordinary creativity during the last five years of his life has allowed me to re-examine his life's work and move beyond the simplistic view that his career was simply predicated on change - Bowie the chameleon.

"Instead, I would like to show how the changes were often superficial, but the core themes in his work were entirely consistent - alienation, mortality and fame."

The season will also see BBC Four broadcasting Bowie at the BBC, a compilation of rarely-seen archive of the star's performances and interviews at the BBC, spanning more than 40 years.

Radio 2 will dedicate an entire documentary to the star's seminal hit Life On Mars, while 6 Music will mark what would have been Bowie's 70th birthday on Sunday 8 January with a day of special programming.

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