Keith Richards to tell story of early years in BBC documentary

The Rolling Stone will star in Keith Richards – The Origin of the Species, directed by Julien Temple

Keith Richards will front a BBC2 documentary about his formative years growing up in post-war Britain and curate a “lost weekend” of films and live performances for BBC4.

The Rolling Stones rocker will star in the film Keith Richards – The Origin of the Species, directed by Julien Temple, which will be a centrepiece of the BBC’s My Generation season about the history of pop music.

“There was a feeling late ‘50s/early ‘60s that there was a change coming,” Richards says in the film, which will air on the BBC next month.

“Harold Macmillan actually said it – ‘The winds of change’ and all that – but he didn’t mean it in quite the same way. I certainly felt that my generation and what was happening and the feeling in the air – was it’s time to push limits. The world is ours now and you can rise or fall on it.”

Richards’s weekend of programmes for BBC4 will feature two nights of shows hand-picked by the man himself, the first time the BBC4 schedules have been taken over in this way, each introduced by the guitarist.

The BBC said the film by Temple, whose other credits include Glastonbury, Absolute Beginners and the Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, would “reclaim on film for the first time” Richards’s roots growing up in south-east London.

Temple, who made a concert film in 1991 with the band called Stones at the Max, said: “Listening to the early Stones as a kid changed everything for me. I felt a new way of living emerging, a new kind of person becoming possible – something I wanted to be a part of.

“And without a doubt I thought Keith Richards was the origin of the species. This film sets out to explore how both he and the ‘60s in England came about.”

Richards, 72, is still touring with the Rolling Stones and they are expected to release an album of new material later this year. He published his autobiography, Life, to critical acclaim six years ago.

He also became an unlikely film star appearing in several of the the Pirates of the Caribbean films alongside Johnny Depp.

Cassian Harrison, BBC4 editor, said: “Keith Richards is undoubtedly one of the key icons of our age.

“His film for BBC2 will be a fascinating exploration into the post-war years, how they impacted both his life and others and influenced the 60s and the decades that followed.

“And his curated weekend of programmes for BBC4 will be a thrilling musical journey for viewers – giving an extraordinary and unique insight into Keith’s passions and inspirations.”

Jan Younghusband, head of music TV commissioning, added: “Keith Richards is an outstanding talent and an inspiration to us all.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring his unique and entertaining insights to our audience, in this special collaboration with Julien Temple. I know it will be a totally original experience.”


John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Planet Earth II most watched natural history show for 15 years
With 9.2m viewers, David Attenborough’s BBC1 documentary is already one of the most popular TV shows of the year

Jasper Jackson

07, Nov, 2016 @1:59 PM

Article image
Wildlife shows not reflecting reality of natural world – Springwatch presenters
BBC’s Chris Packham says nature reserves are becoming ‘a bit like art galleries’ while Martin Hughes-Games raises concerns about conservation

John Plunkett

23, May, 2016 @11:01 PM

Article image
Johnny Depp to make Keith Richards documentary
For his first directorial foray in more than a decade, the world's most famous Pirate of the Caribbean is to make a film about the Rolling Stone

Sean Michaels

03, Feb, 2010 @9:59 AM

Article image
'Devoid of personality': BBC tells story of David Bowie's faltering early career
Film shows footage thought lost and speaks to singer’s early friends, collaborators and lovers

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

01, Feb, 2019 @12:01 AM

Article image
New BBC documentary series to examine US hate crimes
Three-part BBC3 series, among a raft of new commissions, will examine the psychology of those involved

John Plunkett

13, Jun, 2016 @12:31 PM

Article image
A first look at Netflix documentary Keith Richards: Under The Influence
The Rolling Stones guitar player is filmed as he records his first solo album in 23 years in a new documentary coming to Netflix 18 September

Richard Vine

09, Sep, 2015 @5:31 PM

Article image
BBC to make drama documentary about the Mark Duggan shooting
Film, Lawfully Killed, will tell story of the Tottenham man who was shot by a police marksman in 2011, triggering riots

Mark Sweney

06, Aug, 2015 @3:13 PM

Article image
The BBC boss in charge of Bake Off: ‘Distinctiveness v popularity is absurd’
Documentary chief Patrick Holland on Louis Theroux revisiting Savile, giving camera phones to refugees and telling stories people care about

Tara Conlan

15, May, 2016 @5:03 PM

Article image
Top Gear's big studio audience told to forget how show used to look
BBC tweaks format to create livelier feel with larger audience and Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc competing for best jokes

Mark Sweney

20, May, 2016 @6:20 PM

Article image
Documentary series to take viewers behind scenes of V&A
BBC Two to screen programmes in 2020 aiming to tell ‘secrets of the museum’

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

20, Aug, 2019 @5:00 AM