Biographical documentaries

biography genre header
From world leaders including Volodymyr Zelensky to icons of pop culture like Elizabeth Taylor or billionaires such as Elon Musk, BBC Select brings you the life stories of the influential people that shaped the past and present. Stream a range of compelling biographical documentaries from the BBC and beyond with BBC Select.

A Life In Ten Pictures: Ella Fitzgerald

Ella fitzgerald

She was the ‘First Lady of Song’ acclaimed for the incredible clarity of her singing voice and her extraordinary ability to make every song she sang her own. But despite her stature as a musical great, she was notoriously shy and protective of her private life. Can ten unique images, taken at various points in her career, shine any light on the life of Ella Fitzgerald?

A Life In Ten Pictures: Carrie Fisher

a life in ten pictures carrie fisher

Due to the success of Star Wars, Carrie Fisher’s image was instantly recognizable around the world. But her private life was turbulent and tragic, involving substance abuse, family problems and mental health issues. A handful of iconic shots and private snaps reveal her extraordinary life. They illustrate the battles and successes of a troubled survivor who was supremely talented.

Dynasties: The Families That Changed The World

Dynasties The Families That changed the World

Throughout history, certain names have cropped up again and again, holding onto the reins of power. Families that seem to continually reach the pinnacle of society. But how do they do it? This insightful historical documentary series delves into the inner workings of the world’s most powerful and intriguing dynasties. The scandals, powerplays, humble beginnings and dramatic downfalls are all explored.

A Life In Ten Pictures

a life in 10 pictures series 2

Watch A Life In Ten Pictures Seasons 1 and 2 with BBC Select. The acclaimed documentary series uses ten photographs from the lives of the world’s most beloved icons to tell their stories. From iconic photos to candid and private pictures, what do these images reveal? And what secrets do they hide?

Through forensic storytelling and interviews with those that knew them best, A Life In Ten Pictures explores the lives and careers of stars including Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor, Nelson Mandela, John Lennon, Carrie Fisher and Tupac Shakur.

The Man Who Destroyed Oscar Wilde

the man who destroyed oscar wilde

In 1895, playwright Oscar Wilde fought a spectacular duel in court with his fellow Irishman Edward Carson, a lawyer that Wilde considered a friend. It led to Wilde’s ruin and imprisonment for homosexuality. Merlin Holland, grandson of Wilde, and actors Simon Callow and Rupert Everett explore one of the most scandalous trials of the Victorian era in this fascinating history documentary.