The BBC to celebrate The Beatles following announcement of ‘Now And Then’

The BBC has announced that it will be broadcasting a series of programmes to celebrate the legacy of The Beatles.

The new itinerary from the broadcaster comes following the recently shared details of the band’s “final” song – which is set to arrive next week and will be the last to feature all four members.

Titled ‘Now And Then’, the project was completed by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr with the help of AI, and is comprised of past demo recordings of John Lennon, which the surviving members salvaged and used to make a new song.

To celebrate the forthcoming release – which the band teased with an image of a cassette tape across social media and internet as well as projections across the Fab Four’s native Liverpool – the BBC has also announced that it will be showing a range of programmes dedicated to the rock veterans.

These include an extended edition of The One Show on BBC One, set to be shown next Wednesday (November 1). Shown between 7pm and 7:45pm, it will see BBC Radio 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne introducing and commenting on the exclusive UK TV broadcast of Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song – a poignant short film, written and directed by Oliver Murray, which tells the story behind the track.

The Beatles performing on stage, circa 1963
The Beatles performing on stage, circa 1963. CREDIT: King Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

Similarly, a new podcast series from BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds titled Eras: The Beatles will be broadcast to celebrate the release. Hosted by Martin Freeman, the show will take a look at how the band shaped the music of today, and reveal their history “as never before with extensive archive and in the band’s own words”.

For this, a recently unearthed interview with McCartney, Starr and George Harrison will be aired for the first time in nearly 60 years.

Episode one will introduce the members and follow the early days of their careers, while the second will see how they ventured across the pond and cracked America. Three and four will see how their lives began to become impacted by the pressures of fame, and five will see how the members navigated life after the band and formed their respective solo careers. The sixth and final episode will include a new interview with McCartney and Starr about the new track.

Next Saturday (November 4) a range of new and archive programmes will be aired on BBC Two and iPlayer, including The Beatles & The BBC – a new compilation featuring performances and appearances from the band, and the members’ opinions on programmes such as Doctor Who (1965), A Degree of Frost (1964) and Our World (1967).

Finally, available now on BBC Sounds, The Beatles at the BBC collection offers another chance to hear programmes that have previously been broadcast on BBC Radio networks.

The Beatles left to right: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon at Abbey Road Studios. 24th June 1967.
The Beatles left to right: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon at Abbey Road Studios. 24th June 1967. CREDIT: Mirrorpix/Getty Images

These include Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl talking about his unique memories and passion for The Beatles, and similar interviews from songwriter Guy Chambers, Craig Charles and record producer/broadcaster Tris Penna.

Other previous broadcasts in the collection include John Lennon at 80 – which sees Sean Ono Lennon, Julian Lennon, Paul McCartney and Elton John celebrate the musical legend John Lennon on what would have been his 80th birthday, and Paul McCartney: Inside the Songs. The latter sees Macca discuss his life and songwriting through the prism of 10 key lyrics, including from The Beatles’ classics, ‘All My Loving’, ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘Penny Lane’.

Find out more about the BBC And The Beatles Collection here.

In other Beatles news, alongside revealing details of the upcoming ‘final’ song, the surviving members of the band also revealed that they will be sharing new expanded editions of ‘1962-1966 (The Red Album)’ and ‘1967-1970 (The Blue Album)’, mixed in stereo and Dolby, on November 10.

The two releases will now span 75 songs from ‘Love Me Do’ to ‘Now And Then’ and feature 21 newly-added tracks, with 12 on ‘Red’ and nine on ‘Blue’. These come from recent years’ stereo and Dolby mixes of recently reissued albums, plus new mixes created by Giles Martin and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios with the assistance of the AI-provided WingNut Films’ audio de-mixing technology.


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