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A Life in Ten Pictures

Ten photographs are taken from the lives of the world’s most beloved icons. What do these images reveal? And what secrets do they hide? This fascinating BBC arts documentary uses forensic storytelling and interviews to get under the skin of Freddie Mercury, Muhammad Ali, Amy Winehouse, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon and Tupac Shakur. Can these pictures expose something unknown about their subjects?
20216 episodes
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  1. S1 E1 - Freddie Mercury
    April 2, 2021
    Freddie Mercury of Queen was one of the most photographed men in history. But could just a handful of photos uncover new truths about someone we think we all know? This revealing BBC arts documentary throws a unique lens onto an extraordinary life, focusing on ten defining pictures, from iconic shots to private snaps. Secrets are revealed by those who were there and those who knew Freddie best.
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  2. S1 E2 - Tupac Shakur
    April 16, 2021
    The life of rapper Tupac Shakur was tragically short. He was murdered at the age of just 25. Could a handful of photos uncover new truths about this iconic hip-hop figure? In this fascinating BBC arts documentary, unknown elements of 2Pac's life are exposed via photographs, from his vulnerability to his social consciousness. Can these images show the true artist behind the 'gangsta' bravado?
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  3. S1 E3 - Elizabeth Taylor
    April 23, 2021
    Known for her tumultuous love life as much as her Academy Award winning film career, Elizabeth Taylor was one of Hollywood's most famous faces. But can photographs taken at defining points in her life reveal hidden depths? In this illuminating BBC arts documentary, images from her life, some famous some candid, show a different side of Liz. Who was the real woman behind the scandal and headlines?
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  4. S1 E4 - Muhammad Ali
    May 7, 2021
    Muhammad Ali was a man who refused to compromise. Known for his outspoken views, as well as his boxing prowess, he attracted controversy throughout his life. What can we learn about him from photographs taken from his burgeoning fight career to his battle with Parkinson's? This gripping BBC arts documentary uses images to examine the journey of young Cassius Clay as he blossomed into Muhammad Ali.
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  5. S1 E5 - John Lennon
    May 14, 2021
    John Lennon was one of the most famous faces on the planet. His tragically early death ensured his status as a rock icon. This fascinating BBC arts documentary uses photographs from throughout his life to expose the true Lennon. The photos reveal Lennon’s lifelong search to find his place in the world, his disaffection as a Beatle and his relationship with the love of his life, artist Yoko Ono.
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  6. S1 E6 - Amy Winehouse
    September 10, 2021
    Amy Winehouse was an ordinary London girl with a unique voice, who, seemingly overnight became hugely successful. Her private life became a tabloid obsession and the pressure of fame and press intrusion contributed to her tragically early death. This BBC arts documentary uses ten photographs to chart the Back to Black and Rehab singer's life. Can clues to her sad fate be detected in these images?
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More info

Content advisory
Nudityviolencesubstance usealcohol usesmokingfoul languagesexual content
Audio languages
English [CC]
Matthew Hill
Chris Wilson
Rosalind Eleazar
BBC Studios Productions
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