Biographical documentaries

From world leaders like Queen Elizabeth and Volodymyr Zelensky to the kings and queens of pop culture like Avicii and Elizabeth Taylor, BBC Select tells the true-life stories of some of the most iconic people of our time. Sign up for BBC Select to watch these BBC biography documentaries in the US and Canada today.

Elton John: Uncensored

Elton John Interview BBC

In this world-exclusive interview, Sir Elton John sits down with Graham Norton to look back at his extraordinary, 50-year Grammy and Academy Award-winning career.

Elton shares many candid, personal and laugh-out-loud stories documenting the highs and lows of his life in music.

From addiction battles to health scares and fatherhood, the Rocket Man discusses subjects that are usually out of bounds.

A Life in Ten Pictures - Freddie Mercury

Life in Ten Pictures Freddie Mercury Documentary

Freddie Mercury of Queen was one of the most photographed men in history. But could a selection of photos uncover new truths about someone we all thought we knew? This revealing Freddie Mercury documentary looks at an extraordinary life through a unique lens of ten defining pictures, from iconic shots to private snaps. Secrets are revealed by those who were there and those who knew Freddie best.

A Life in Ten Pictures – Freddie Mercury is part of a 10-part series that uses iconic photography to explore the lives of global icons. This fascinating celebrity biography series uses forensic storytelling and interviews to get under the skin of Muhammad Ali, Amy Winehouse, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, Tupac Shakur and more.

Gauguin: The Full Story

Stream Gauguin: The Full Story on BBC Select

In 1903, a syphilitic and alcoholic Frenchman called Paul Gauguin died on a remote Pacific island. At that point no-one realized the incredible impact he was to have on modern art.

In this remarkable BBC art documentary, critic Waldemar Januszczak tells the story of Gauguin’s life and examines the accusations of sexual misconduct, family neglect and racism that are frequently made against him.

Schindler: The Real Story

Watch Schindler: The Real Story on BBC Select

Immortalized in the iconic Steven Spielberg film Schindler’s List, Oskar Schindler has become a well-known hero of the Second World War.

This compelling, award-winning documentary explores the real, complex figure of Schindler, with incredible archive footage and intimate interviews with Holocaust survivors who knew him.

The vain, womanizing playboy behind the legendary hero is also revealed.

Princess Diana: A Life After Death

Watch Princess Diana: A Life After Death on BBC Select

The death of Diana, Princess of Wales and its aftermath are explored in this fascinating documentary.

During the summer of 1997, once her fairy tale marriage to Prince Charles was over, media fascination with Diana reached fever point and she was pursued constantly by the press.

Diana’s life ended in a car crash in Paris and her death would change attitudes towards the British royal family forever.