Trending documentaries

Need inspiration for which documentary to watch? See what's on BBC Select, from trending shows about the latest news stories to classic BBC documentaries about history, British royalty, true crime and more. All available to stream in the US and Canada with BBC Select.

The Shamima Begum Story: The Girl Who Joined ISIS

Shamima Begum

Shamima Begum left London aged just 15 and disappeared inside the Islamic State group. She emerged four years later in 2019, a vilified figure who had her British citizenship revoked. Now Shamima gives the definitive account of everything that happened to her. In this exclusive interview she explains how she was radicalized, what life in ISIS was like and her hopes for the future.

Before They Were Royal

Before They Were Royals

What was life like for Prince Philip, Camilla Parker-Bowles and more before they joined the British royal family? This compelling documentary looks at the early lives of various royals before their fame and their acceptance into the monarchy.

Ep 1: Prince Philip: The Bachelor Years

A playboy father and troubled mother led to a difficult childhood for The Queen’s Consort. Prince Philip was constantly by Queen Elizabeth’s side throughout her reign, providing comfort and support. But his life before they were married was rather more colorful. The Queen’s Consort had a playboy father, a troubled mother, and a highly turbulent childhood. But it was during these formative years that he made a connection that would soon blossom into a royal romance.

Ep 2: Camilla: Making of a Mistress

The colorful story of the woman for whom Prince Charles risked everything. She was once one of the most hated women in Britain. Now she is a beloved member of the royal family.The former Camilla Parker Bowles’ journey from royal mistress to Queen Consort has been a dramatic one. Who is the woman for whom Charles risked everything and why did her relationship with the future king mysteriously falter and turn into an affair that sparked frenzied media speculation?

Ep 3: Wallis Simpson: Femme Fatale

She was the woman who made a British King give up the throne, but what was her agenda? In 1931, Wallis Simpson met Edward, the Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne. At that moment, she was on course to change history. Tw ice divorced, Edward’s subsequent engagement to Wallis led to a constitutional crisis and his abdication of the crown. But was Mrs. Simpson a scheming seductress or a clever, well-meaning woman who was simply unlucky in love?

Ep 4: Princess Alice

The amazing story of the Queen’s mother-in-law who risked her life fighting the Nazis. A great granddaughter to Queen Victoria, and mother to Prince Philip, the extraordinary story of Princess Alice is rarely told. From her struggles with mental illness, to her remarkable humanitarian work, she was a woman who refused to fit in
the royal mold. She was defined by her generosity, risking her life to shelter Jewish families in Nazi-occupied Greece. Why is her story not better known?

Putin vs The West

Image of Putin wearing sun glasses reflecting the British and US flags

Throughout the two decades that Vladimir Putin has controlled Russia, global leaders have tried various tactics to keep him in line. Now, as war rages in Ukraine and the world faces one of its greatest tests to peace since the Cold War, this documentary attempts to identify where these leaders went wrong and tries to understand how we have reached this point of no return with Putin.

Ep 1: My Backyard
When Putin first attacked Ukraine in 2014, he used the West’s hesitancy to his advantage.

When Vladimir Putin’s Russian forces first attacked Ukraine in 2014, Europe’s leaders clashed over how to stop him.
When he spied division in the West, the Russian President pressed home his advantage. As this thrilling documentary
illustrates, Putin was able to exploit a power vacuum and make his most audacious move to date: sending troops into Crimea.

Ep 2: Back With a Vengeance
As revolution tore through the Middle East, the West tried to enlist Putin as peacemaker.

As the uprisings of the Arab Spring tore through the Middle East, Western leaders attempted to enlist Putin as a peacemaker. But, as this compelling political documentary shows, the Russian President was able to use this to his advantage. Exploiting the West’s inaction,
he revealed just how far he was willing to go to keep his allies in power.

Ep 3: A Dangerous Path
Putin’s aggression culminates in an audacious invasion that threatens to engulf Europe.

From an audacious poisoning, to the moment he launched an invasion that threatened to engulf Europe, Putin has continued to ramp up his aggression. As this fascinating documentary concludes, leaders including Boris Johnson, Theresa May and Volodymyr Zelensky discuss how they confronted Putin and maneuvered to try and prevent his invasion of Ukraine. How will the West now respond?

Downfall of the Porn King: The Ron Jeremy Story

Stream Downfall of the Porn King: The Ron Jeremy Story on BBC Select

Ron Jeremy was an adult-film performer who appeared in thousands of films; a porn star who crossed over into the mainstream, rubbing shoulders with movies stars.

But in June 2020, he was charged with numerous counts of rape and sexual assault against 21 women.

Featuring exclusive interviews with the alleged victims, this two-part documentary provides a rare insight into the world of the adult film industry, revealing the inside story of Ron Jeremy’s 40-year career and how his alleged crimes came to light.

Episode 1: Rise to Fame

Ron Jeremy’s rise to fame in the ‘golden age’ of the 1970’s porn industry. This is the story of how a fairly unattractive, unassuming figure became an icon in the adult film industry and the power he was able to exert. The first part of this compelling documentary charts Ron Jeremy’s rise to fame during the ‘golden age of porn’ in the 1970s. Rumors of his sexual crimes were circulating even then, but nothing was said or done. Now his alleged victims tell their story.

Episode 2: Downfall and Disgrace

The past catches up with former porn star Ron Jeremy as his alleged crimes are revealed. Ron Jeremy crossed over from the world of adult entertainment into the mainstream. He was a household name with famous Hollywood friends, a reality TVs how and even his own range of rum. But Jeremy’s former actions were about to catch up with him.

The conclusion of this disturbing documentary reveals how the porn star’s alleged crimes were eventually brought to light and his downfall was assured.

Louis Theroux: Forbidden America

Louis Theroux Forbidden America on BBC Select

Travelling across the United States, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux sees how the internet and social media has impacted some of the most controversial corners of American society. From those promoting far-right ideas, those in a violent and chaotic rap scene and adult film performers claiming victimization by the industry. All use the internet to reach their audience, all push the boundaries of acceptability.