Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender

Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender


An excellent BBC2 documentary about Queen in 2011 told you everything about the band. But Imagine, in an extended version of a programme first shown last year, heads in a different direction with a look at Freddie Mercury’s solo career.

His success on his own didn’t match Queen standards, but he had a huge hit with opera star Montserrat Caballé. She is overwhelmed when she recounts why he shied away from her platonic kisses — he had just learnt he was HIV-positive.


Profile of the Queen frontman, exploring his time away from the band - including a collaboration with Michael Jackson and the triumphant Barcelona duet with Montserrat Caballe. The programme also examines his life as a gay man who was not yet publicly out. Featuring archive footage and interviews with bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor, as well as friends and admirers including Paul Gambaccini, Montserrat Caballe and Matt Lucas.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Brian May
Contributor Roger Taylor
Contributor Paul Gambaccini
Contributor Montserrat Caballe
Contributor Matt Lucas
Director Rhys Thomas
Editor Alan Yentob
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Documentary Music