The BBC will mark the release of the final song by The Beatles with a special night of programming, plus a BBC Sounds podcast and a feature on The One Show.


Radio presenter Lauren Laverne will join the broadcaster's flagship magazine show on Wednesday 1st November to introduce and comment on Now and Then – The Last Beatles Song.

The short film is directed by Oliver Murray (My Life as a Rolling Stone) and examines the story behind the belatedly released track, which has been described by the BBC as "poignant".

Radio 6 Music will be the first BBC station to play Now and Then, with an airing scheduled for the following day.

A brand new podcast series titled Eras: The Beatles will further drum up anticipation, with the first five episodes available to stream right now and a sixth coming on Thursday 2nd November.

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Presented by Martin Freeman of Sherlock, The Office and Marvel fame, it charts the history of the iconic rock band and their enduring influence on the music industry to this day.

It will include a never-before-heard interview with George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, recorded in 1964, just prior to the band's life-changing first visit to the United States.

BBC archivist Elliot Gibson, who unearthed the footage, said: "I found this interview which was originally on a physical reel of tape which contained news clips whilst undertaking a project to digitise 30,000 quarter inch reels from the BBC archive.

The Beatles being photographed after an interview with the BBC Italian Service, on the eve of the departure for a tour in Italy.
The Beatles. BBC Studios

"There’s often something surprising to be found in old archive material when you scratch the surface, but I never expected to find something of this quality – a complete Beatles interview by reporter Reg Abbiss.

"Initially I assumed it was a copy of an interview that was widely known, so when I checked and discovered it was unique and hadn’t been heard since its broadcast – almost 60 years ago – I was amazed.

"It’s extremely rare to unearth material this valuable in the archive. What makes it truly great is that it shows The Beatles on top form – playful and quick-witted – and captures them just before their first visit to America which would turn out to be a pivotal moment in their career."

Lastly, on Saturday 4th November, a night of The Beatles-themed programming will air on BBC Two and iPlayer, including a range of new and archive material.

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The highlight will be a special titled The Beatles & The BBC, a compilation of performances and appearances from band members and the group as a whole on various programmes – including Doctor Who.

Lorna Clarke, BBC Director of Music says: "The BBC’s relationship with The Beatles spans seven decades, with appearances from members of the band woven throughout our extensive archive.

"This relationship with their music continues today and so to be the first UK broadcaster to show the special film will be a real treat for fans old and new. We’ll be celebrating the band’s continued influence across BBC iPlayer, Sounds, radio and TV."

Check out more of our Documentaries coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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