Mick & Margaret / Backstage At Live Aid - New SKY Playhouses
After WAITING FOR ANDRE (still available on SKY Player), and ELIZABETH, MICHAEL AND MARLON (still available in my house), I have written two more SKY Playhouses as part of their Urban Myth strand. The first is MICK & MARGARET. The idea behind the film started when I saw this photo of Princess Margaret and friends relaxing on the island of Mustique in the 1970s –
Which led me to reading more about Margaret’s secret life on Mustique which led me to read about her secret, decades-long friendship with Mick Jagger. Some biographies have suggested they had a fleeting affair followed by their long friendship. Others have suggested that the Queen turned down repeated requests from Tony Blair to give Jagger a knighthood as a result, only relenting after Margaret’s death and even then finding herself unavailable on the day (Prince Charles subbied in).
MICK & MARGARET is produced by Happy Tramp and directed by the great Ben Palmer (who with his team somehow made Wimbledon Studios look like 1970s Mustique) and follows their friendship through the decades. Princess Margaret is played by Kelly Macdonald and Mick Jagger by Jamie Campbell Bower. They are both exceptional and brilliantly capture what must have been a pretty unique relationship. My favourite piece of research, incidentally, is that Margaret would book herself and her entourage into British Airways Economy for flights to Mustique, knowing the airline would be too embarrassed not to upgrade them.
The other film is 13.7.85: BACKSTAGE AT LIVE AID. This was inspired by the multiple music industry urban myths about Live Aid I’ve heard and read over the years, and was a chance to bring them all together. I also wanted to show how impressive Bob Geldof’s achievement was in putting on the show and the myriad issues he faced on the day, including Elton John being furious with Noel Edmonds for landing his helicopter in his garden and ruining his begonias. The begonias and more are all detailed in a fantastic 2010 documentary – Live Aid: Against All Odds – which is on Youtube in two parts.
BACKSTAGE AT LIVE AID is produced by Little Rock and has an amazing ensemble cast, in no particular order – Jonas Armstrong, Kerry Howard, Karla Crome, Martin Compston, Rufus Jones, Seb Cardinal, Dustin Demri-Burns, David Avery, Con O’Neill and others. It is directed by John Hardwick who did a fine job of capturing the chaos of the day. I’m delighted with the result, which hopefully shows Live Aid in all its mad, funny and ultimately heroic glory.
Backstage at Live Aid goes out on Thursday April 19th at 9pm. Mick & Margaret goes out in a second batch of SKY Playhouses later in the year. There are some behind the scenes photos from both films below.