Artist News Media

BBC to air documentary marking 30th anniversary of Freddie Mercury’s death

By | Published on Monday 1 November 2021

Freddie Mercury

The BBC last week announced that it will mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Freddie Mercury later this month with a new documentary called ‘Freddie Mercury: The Final Act’.

The film tells the story from the final and biggest show on Queen’s 1986 ‘Magic Tour’ at Knebworth, through Mercury’s battle with HIV and AIDS, to his death in November 1991 and the ‘Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert’ that took place at Wembley in April 1992. It features interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor, friends of Mercury, and artists who performed at the tribute show.

According to the BBC, the documentary also “hears from those who saw the impact of HIV/AIDS first hand, either as medical practitioners, survivors, or human rights campaigners, including Peter Tatchell”.

The director of the film is James Rogan, who says: “Making ‘Freddie Mercury: The Final Act’ has been an extraordinary journey into the final chapter of one of rock music’s greatest icons. Working with Queen and getting to see behind-the-scenes of some of their greatest performances and the legendary ‘Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert’ was a rare privilege”.

“Equally important was speaking to the people who had lived through the eye of the storm of the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS, with all its resonances with COVID today”, he goes on. “Freddie’s death and the tribute that Queen organised for him helped to change global awareness of this terrible disease at a critical time”.

The Head Of Commissioning at BBC Music TV, Jan Younghusband, adds: “James Rogan’s film ‘Freddie Mercury: The Final Act’ is a poignant story of one of music’s most popular and talented musicians, and the legacy he left”.

“Not only does it shine new light on Freddie Mercury’s brave journey through those final five years of his life, it also tells a wider – and hugely important – story of the emergence of AIDS at the time and how the incredible tribute concert after his death helped to change for the better public opinion about the crisis”, she adds. “The artists of Queen, and others who were there, speak candidly for the first time”.

The programme will air later this month alongside ‘Queen At The BBC’, a one-hour special featuring many of the band’s performances for the broadcaster.