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Telly Today: From Freddie Mercury to Take That


Telly Today: From Freddie Mercury to Take That

TV Highlights for Saturday, November 25th…


In September 2023 Sotheby’s presented a series of sales titled Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own, a once-in-a-lifetime event that unveiled, for the first time anywhere, the public and private realm of the global music sensation Freddie Mercury.

Freddie Mercury: Auction Special goes behind the scenes as Sotheby’s New Bond Street is turned into a museum dedicated to the life of the flamboyant Queen frontman and his kaleidoscopic world of music, style and glamour.

Spanning art, fashion, musical instruments, personal papers and possessions, candid photographs, furniture, and jewels, accrued over the course of fifty years, the sales allowed the public to bid for a piece of rock and roll history.

Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on the 5th of September 1946 in Zanzibar. 1964 saw his family relocate to the UK settling in Middlesex. Having always had an interest in music by the early 1970s, with guitarists Brian May and John Deacon along with drummer Roger Taylor, Mercury had created the group Queen, and his artistic creativity would form their style musically and visually. Freddie wrote numerous hits for Queen, including “Killer Queen”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Somebody to Love”, “We Are the Champions”, “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.

His charismatic stage performances often saw him interact with the audience, as displayed at the 1985 Live Aid concert. Freddie also had a couple of spells as a solo performer, first under the pseudonym of Larry Lurex, and later as himself with songs such as “Living on my Own”, “I Was Born to Love You” and “There Must be More to Life Than This” and “Love Me Like There’s No Tomorrow”.

Freddie exhibited HIV/AIDS symptoms as early as 1982 and passed away on November 24th, 1991 aged 45 at his home in Kensington. The cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

Sky Arts, 8 pm


Gary, Howard and Mark join Dermot at a cinema to look back at their remarkable career and discuss how they became the biggest pop band in the world – not once, but twice! Across a programme of reflection, nostalgia and surprises, the band watch back key performances, events and moments from the last 30 years, re-living their highs and lows in intimate detail.

Home video footage shows them performing in school assemblies and in forgotten TV performances as they grafted for two years before their breakthrough hit, It Only Takes A Minute. They reflect on what followed after their meteoric rise, the chaotic success of the 1990s, from the epic highs and adulation of their initial fame to the darker side of success – the constant press attention and intrusion, and the toll of relentless pressure. They discuss Robbie’s departure in 1995 and the band’s break up the following year – their feelings at the time and their feelings now, with more than 25 years of hindsight.

Dermot talks in depth about what each of the band members did in the years following, including solo careers, and how after a decade in the wilderness, Take That were a memory…

Then came the unexpected and extraordinary comeback. Convention said it couldn’t be done; precedent showed it hadn’t been done. Logic, wisdom, and history all told them it wouldn’t work – but they did it anyway and proved everyone wrong. They discuss the emotional reunion with their fans on their 2006 comeback tour, recording their first album back together, the 2009 reunion with Robbie, and their status as British music hit makers, headlining King Charles III’s Coronation Concert.

BBC Two, 8.30 pm The programme is followed by Take That in Concert with Radio 2


Lockerbie tells the incredible true story of Britain’s deadliest terrorist atrocity and the most fatal terrorist attack on America before 9/11: the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, when 270 people lost their lives on the night of December 21 1988.

This four-part documentary series will speak to individuals closely linked to the disaster and the years-long investigation that followed it.

With access to victims’ families, investigators, intelligence officers and other key figures who have not spoken until now, the series will examine unanswered questions and explore the truth behind the atrocity to provide an account of the bombing and its aftermath and – ultimately – who was responsible.

Sky Showcase and Sky Documentaries, 9 pm


Channel 4 give us ‘another chance to see’ (okay its a repeat) of their feel-good royal festive treat as A Very Royal Christmas explores how the royal family traditionally celebrate Christmas at Sandringham, combining archive footage with revealing interviews from royal insiders and former staff, and diving into all the delicious detail, festive fine print and celebration secrets.

Royal experts reveal all about the garish gifts, classy celebrations and historical traditions, and why Monopoly has been banned from royal Christmases for over a decade.

And as well as learning the secrets to cooking a turkey fit for royalty, we take a look at the infamous joke presents the family have given each other over the years, with many gag gifts passing down into Windsor folklore.

Channel 4, 6 pm

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