Biography documentaries

From world leaders to the kings and queens of pop culture, BBC Select tells the true-life stories of some of the most influential 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.

A Life In Ten Pictures: Muhammad Ali

Watch A Life In Ten Pictures: Muhammad Ali on BBC Select

Muhammad Ali was a man who refused to compromise. Known for his outspoken views, as well as his boxing prowess, he attracted acclaim, and controversy, throughout his life.

This gripping BBC arts documentary uses images from his burgeoning fight career to his battle with Parkinson’s to examine the journey of young Cassius Clay into the sporting icon he became.

Surviving the Holocaust

Surviving the Holocaust

In a disarmingly frank interview, Holocaust survivor Freddie Knoller (now in his 90s) tells his personal story of being a young Jewish man during World War II.

Speaking directly to camera and accompanied by extensive archive footage, he relives his past and draws on intense memories to navigate the extraordinary adventure of his early life which resulted in imprisonment in Auschwitz.