Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Chiang Kai-shek – they were worshipped, loved and sometimes even feared by millions. They were pioneers who showed that a woman could be the equal of any man. This documentary series, featuring archive interviews and dramatic re-enactments, reveals the price these women paid for their achievements.
Watch Extraordinary Women and more acclaimed documentaries on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.
More documentaries you might like...
Elton John: Uncensored
Elton John opens up to Graham Norton about his childhood, stardom and addiction battles.
A Life in Ten Pictures - Freddie Mercury
The life of Queen's Freddie Mercury told through photographs
Gauguin: The Full Story
Why was the life of influential artist Paul Gauguin mired in controversy and conflict?
The Amol Rajan Interviews: Billie Jean King
The tennis legend opens up about her incredible life and career
The Amol Rajan Interviews: Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic discusses his incredible career and events during the pandemic
Schindler: The Real Story
How did Oskar Schindler differ from the one seen in the famous film?
Princess Diana: A Life After Death
How Princess Diana's tragic death and legacy changed the British monarchy forever.
A Life In Ten Pictures: Amy Winehouse
The story of Amy Winehouse told through 10 photos
Hurst: The First and Only
Exploring the life of the World Cup winner and England footballing legend
Born To Be The King
What will new British monarch King Charles III bring to the role?
Downfall of the Porn King: The Ron Jeremy Story
The rise and fall of porn star, Ron Jeremy.
A Life In Ten Pictures: John Lennon
Photographs help to reveal the true nature of music icon and Beatles star John Lennon.
A Life In Ten Pictures: Muhammad Ali
Ten photographs show a different side of boxer Muhammad Ali
A Life In Ten Pictures: Elizabeth Taylor
The life of Elizabeth Taylor told through 10 pictures
A Life In Ten Pictures: Tupac Shakur
The life of Tupac Shakur told through 10 photographs
The Making of Merkel
The political journey of Germany’s formidable chancellor.
The Queen Mother
The triumphs and pain that came to define the woman affectionately known as the Queen Mum.
Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing
How did a scandalous 19th-century countess help create the modern era of computing?
Gorbachev: The Man Who Changed the World
Cold War, Chernobyl and change. How did Mikhail Gorbachev herald a new era of politics?
Zelensky: The Making of a President
The transformation of Ukraine's President Zelensky from comic to respected world leader.
When Louis Met ... Jimmy Savile
Louis Theroux looks for a crack under the mask of now-disgraced celebrity Jimmy Savile
Louis Theroux: Jimmy Savile Revisited
Louis Theroux scrutinizes his relationship with disgraced entertainer Jimmy Savile
Meet the Trumps: From Immigrant to President
The remarkable true story of Donald Trump’s family history.
Mad Dog: Inside the Secret World of Muammar Gaddafi
Regime of terror: a horrifying portrait of Libya’s leader from the insiders who made him.
His reputation is uncontroversial. The reality couldn’t be more different.
In Louboutin's Shoes
Sole man. Inside the fashion world of footwear designer Christian Louboutin.
Joanna Lumley’s Britain
Explore Great Britain in this charming travel series
The friends and family of Amy Winehouse reveal the truth about the British music icon.
Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards
What drives the legendary shoe designer and self-confessed 'cobbler' Manolo Blahnik?
David Bowie: Finding Fame
How did humble David Jones become David Bowie - an icon that transformed music forever?
Avicii: True Stories
The tragic story of superstar DJ Avicii told in his own words and by those closest to him.
Vincent: The Full Story
What do we really know about Vincent van Gogh, arguably the world’s most famous artist?