Darcey Bussell: Looking for Margot

Darcey Bussell: Looking for Margot


“Every ballerina – including me – has aspired to be Margot Fonteyn,” says Darcey Bussell. But behind the “unfading image of the perfect ballerina”, Margaret Hookham, as she was christened, had a life marked by betrayal, sadness and disappointment. Tragically, after dancing professionally until she was 60 (20 years longer than Bussell) she died alone and in poverty.

Bussell glides elegantly through her researches, talking to Dame Beryl Grey among others, leafing through the diary of Fonteyn’s overbearing mother and exploring her legacy through interviews with the latest generation of contemporary dancers and footage of Fonteyn’s heart-stopping performances for the Royal Ballet company.

It’s an extraordinary and moving portrait of one of our most famous ballerinas, painted lovingly by another.


Margot Fonteyn inspired generations of ballerinas, while her late-flowering partnership with Rudolf Nureyev created the most dazzling ballet partnership in history. However, her life was marked by tragedy and disappointment. Darcey finds that Margot couldn't find love and never had children, got drawn into a failed foreign revolution, danced on for too long, and died in poverty. The former ballerina goes behind the scenes at the Royal Opera House and the Royal Ballet, and travels from London to New York and Panama, discovering that Margot did eventually find a kind of happiness - though one that came at a high price.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Darcey Bussell
Director Marion Milne
Executive Producer Ross Wilson
Producer Marion Milne
Documentary Arts