Director Francis Whately discusses ‘unbelievably rare’ Bowie footage in ‘Five Years’ film

Documentary is due to air on BBC Two this weekend (May 25)

Francis Whately, director of the forthcoming BBC David Bowie documentary Five Years has spoken to NME about his new film.

The documentary, which covers the singer’s most pivotal period from 1971-83, is due to air on BBC Two this Saturday (May 25). “I’ve been a huge Bowie fan all of my life,” he explained. “Before the V&A announced their [recent David Bowie Is] exhibition, I met the curator and we said wouldn’t it be nice if I did some kind of tie-in thing. I thought, ‘What can I do that will complement their show but not echo it?'”

The film features rare footage of interviews and performances with Bowie at the BBC. Whately added: “We went off to a telecine suite [where film was transferred to video] at BBC Television Centre just before Christmas and we were unbelievably excited because we knew that, for example, the stuff in the recording studio where he’s singing ‘Right’ from the ‘Young Americans’ album is unbelievably rare. I don’t believe anyone’s seen that since it was filmed. It was a very special moment because it’s him doing what you never see him doing, which is actually interacting with the band.”

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