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.

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.

The Real Lawrence of Arabia

The Real Lawrence of Arabia

A British Intelligence Officer known as Thomas Edward Lawrence conducted daring raids during World War I which made him a legend. But how did this man become the renowned ‘Lawrence of Arabia?’ This fascinating history documentary explores the character behind the man and tries to explain how he came to lead a small band of Arab fighters against the fourth largest army in the world.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette is known as the frivolous, callous queen who epitomized the decadence of the French monarchy and paid the ultimate price at the guillotine. But is this a fair assessment? This fascinating history documentary attempts to explode the myth of the vilified Queen of France. Drawing on original documents and contemporary analysis, a true picture of this controversial figure is revealed.