BBC announces Freddie Mercury documentary to mark 30 years since his death

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Photo credit: FG/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images
Photo credit: FG/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images

BBC Two is set to broadcast a new one-off documentary about the last years of Freddie Mercury's life.

Marking 30 years since the Queen singer's death due to complications from AIDS, Freddie Mercury: The Final Act follows his life from his final concert with the band in 1986 to the tribute concert for AIDS awareness at Wembley Stadium the year after he passed.

The film will feature interviews with Queen stars Brian May and Roger Taylor, as well as Mercury's sister Kashmira Bulsara and May's wife Anita Dobson.

Photo credit: FG/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images
Photo credit: FG/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images

Related: Queen's Brian May offers promising update on possibility of Bohemian Rhapsody sequel

Also interviewed are some of the stars that took part in the tribute concert, as well as those who experienced the impact of HIV/AIDS first-hand, including medical practitioners, survivors, and human rights campaigners such as Peter Tatchell.

Mercury secretly battled AIDS in his final years amid the backdrop of the pandemic in the 1980s and intensifying homophobia.

Following his death, May, Taylor and Queen manager Jim Beach brought together a number of artists for The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, which was attended by over 70,000 people and helped to shine a spotlight on AIDS.

Photo credit: Dave Hogan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dave Hogan - Getty Images

"Freddie opened up his heart and gave it everything he had," May said. "He was a musician through and through. He lived for his music. He loved his music, and he was proud of himself as a musician above everything else."

Taylor also added his thoughts on the stigma surrounding AIDS at the time: "We were very angry and we had to stick up for our friend – our best friend. I became fixated with the idea of giving him a hell of a send-off."

Director James Rogan said: "Making Freddie Mercury: The Final Act has been an extraordinary journey into the final chapter of one of rock music's greatest icons. Working with Queen and getting to see behind-the-scenes of some of their greatest performances and the legendary Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert was a rare privilege.

Photo credit: FG/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images
Photo credit: FG/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images

"Equally important was speaking to the people who had lived through the eye of the storm of the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS, with all its resonances with COVID today. Freddie's death and the Tribute that Queen organised for him helped to change global awareness of this terrible disease at a critical time."

BBC Two will also show Queen at the BBC, an hour of the band's best moments from the broadcaster, to accompany the film.

Mercury's life was depicted a few years ago in Bohemian Rhapsody, which saw Rami Malek play the singer in an Oscar-winning performance.

Freddie Mercury: The Final Act will air on BBC Two in November, though an exact date is yet to be announced.

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