Louis Theroux makes four-part retrospective of his entire BBC catalogue

The documentary maker used lockdown to revisit and update his BBC programmes.

Louis Theroux, Life on the Edge, BBC One

The BBC has announced a four-part retrospective of Louis Theroux’s 60+ hours of documentaries in which he will try to make sense of a remarkable back catalogue that started back in the mid-1990s.

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Theroux said that the COVID-19 lockdown had finally given him the opportunity to revisit his BBC documentaries, which range from investigations of subcultures and religions, to people on the fringes of society, intriguing celebrities, risk-takers and those who live with mental health issues.

Theroux’s documentaries have developed from the Weird Weekends to controversial episodes of When Louis Met… with Jimmy Savile and Max Clifford and more recently to his extended investigations of fringe-dwellers in the US. Theroux’s latest work has been in Britain.

Louis Theroux: Life on the Edge won’t just be a re-edit of his biggest hits. Instead the four episodes will feature interviews with himself and catch-ups with some of his most remarkable contributors, whose lives have developed in unexpected ways.

Theroux has also plundered his own home movie footage and news archive to tell stories about human psychology, all the peculiar ways in which people behave or deal with adversity, and how the world has changed over the last three decades.

Theroux said: “For years I’ve wanted to go back and make sense of the programmes I’ve made, find out what happened to some of the contributors, update their stories, and see what all these many hours of making TV might add up to. Lockdown gave me the time and space to do this.”

He said the experience had been a ‘strange and fascinating’ couple of months, but also fun as he reviewed old episodes of Weird Weekends from the late 1990s, “when the world was a very different place”.

The documentary filmmaker added: “I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to do with this new series. I think we’ve been able to make the whole add up to more than the sum of the parts and to bring out surprising themes and commonalities. And, if nothing else, it was an interesting review of how my haircuts and glasses have changed over the years.”

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We’ll update you as soon as the Louis Theroux series is scheduled. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.