BBC Music to celebrate sixty years of The Rolling Stones

the rolling stones

This Summer, the BBC will celebrate sixty glorious years of The Rolling Stones with a star-studded season of programming across television, radio and digital platforms.

The centrepiece is a world-exclusive four-part series of films, My Life as a Rolling Stone, to premiere on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this summer, produced by Mercury Studios.

The Rolling Stones

It tells the story of one of the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands in a way that has never been done before – by viewing the band through the musical lens of each member, delving deep into their personalities, passions and memories from the past sixty years. 

Four one hour-long films, each an intimate portrait of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts, show how these individual musical geniuses came together to make the music that has provided the soundtrack to the lives of millions.

The films feature unrivalled access to and newly-filmed interviews with the band members, and from a stellar cast of artists who’ve loved and been inspired by the band, including PP Arnold, Chrissie Hynde, Slash, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and Steven Tyler.

The landmark series, produced by Mercury Studios for the BBC, will include unseen footage and exclusive stories from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood interwoven with new and archive interviews and performance. 

The story of Charlie Watts, who sadly passed away in August 2021, will be told via tributes from his fellow band members and his musical peers and admirers along with archive interviews of Watts.

Rock band inspiration

The Rolling Stones created the blueprint for every budding rock band. They have overcome tragedy and controversy to record some of the most instantly recognisable and beloved songs. 

They have embraced the full spectrum of popular music from gritty blues to heartrending ballads, from pure pop to hard-edged rock selling millions of records along the way. 

Since their live debut on 12 July 1962 at London’s Marquee Club, the Stones made stadiums and arenas their home with spectacular global tours over the last six decades.

The series, which will be broadcast on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this summer, is directed by award-winning filmmakers, Oliver Murray (Bill Wyman, The Quiet One) and Clare Tavernor (Keith Richards: A Culture Show Special). 

Mercury Studios will distribute the films internationally.

Joyce Smyth, manager, The Rolling Stones, said: “We are thrilled to celebrate sixty years of The Rolling Stones with these four films which give fans around the world a new and fascinating look at the band.”

Lorna Clarke, Controller, BBC Pop, said: “What better year for the BBC, in its centenary year, to pay tribute to and celebrate one of the world’s most significant rock groups, in their 60th anniversary year. 

“The Rolling Stones have been ambassadors for great British rock ‘n’ roll for decades and are loved the world over, so I’m thrilled that the BBC is able to present this very special season of programming, including the world-exclusive TV series, to our audiences.”

Mercury Studios CEO, Alice Webb, said: “Every now and again, as filmmakers we get to work on extraordinary projects – this is one of those moments. 

“We know their music, their swagger, their unrivalled stage presence – and through these beautiful, intimate films you’ll see the band in all their glory as we explore what makes them truly great. 

“It’s been an honour to work with The Rolling Stones to shine a light on their incredible lives and careers – we can’t wait for audiences around the world to see them.”

Each of the four episodes will put one of the Stones in the spotlight, featuring their own personal take on the band, with added contributions about them from each of the other Stones and a cast of incredible contributors.