Arena (TV Series 1975– ) Poster

(1975– )

Episode List


Unknown Season

2 Apr. 1980
Climb Every Mountain or Nothing Succeeds Like Failure
Stephen Pile, author of "The Book of Heroic Failures" and David McGillivray, who failed to complete a book about failure, talk to other failures. Larry Hagman also talks to Stephen Pile about success.
3 Jan. 1981
Chelsea Hotel
BBC documentary that catches scenes in the famous Chelsea Hotel in New York City.
17 Nov. 1981
A Pretty British Affair
Detailed interview with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger looking back at their long career as influential British film-makers and their unusual partnership. Includes clips from many of their films.
22 Feb. 1983
Documentary on the life of William S. Burroughs.
4 Jan. 1984
George Orwell, Part 5: Nineteen Eighty-Four
Last in the series about George Orwell, beginning in 1945 with the death of his wife and covering his subsequent self-imposed exile to Jura and the writing of 'Nineteen Eighty-Four.'
21 Nov. 1986
Salvador Dali
Documentary showcasing the life and works of surrealist artist Salvador Dali.
18 Dec. 1986
Of Cats and Mice
Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist and author Art Spiegelman discusses his graphic novel "Maus," which chronicles how his father survived the Holocaust. Also included a journey to Auschwitz, with his wife and art director Francoise Mouly-Spiegelman.
30 Jan. 1987
Dennis Potter
Alan Yentob interviews TV dramatist Dennis Potter about his work through the years.
13 Feb. 1987
The Confessions of Robert Crumb
In 1987, Robert Crumb presents himself: raised by a Marine father, educated in Catholic schools, married at 21 in Cleveland where he worked for a greeting card company, dropping acid in 1965, heading to San Francisco and getting in on the formation of Zap Comix, gaining celebrity, loving old time jazz, starting a band, living in a commune, meeting Aline Kominsky who became his second wife and his partner in art, having a daughter, and developing a more realistic drawing style. The confessions include his loneliness, his obsessions with women, his bewilderment by fame,...
17 Apr. 1989
Heavy Metal
An outline and retrospective of the heavy metal genre that swept the world in the 1980s.
19 Jan. 1990
15 Dec. 1990
The Complete History of the Potato
Traces the history of the patata from the food staple of the Incas to the raw material of the gigantic crisp industry. Featuring an Irish politician, an English historian, a French chef and a Peruvian geneticist.
8 Feb. 1991
The Very Strange Story of... The Legendary Joe Meek
Detailing the life of an influential 1960s British record producer, the first to top both the UK and US pop music charts with the same record.
1 Mar. 1991
Caroline 199: A Pirate's Tale
This is the story of Radio Caroline the legendary pirate radio station that helped to reinvent the 60s and lead to an explosion of popular music and the opening up of the airwaves. It shows how charismatic club owner and artist manager Ronan O'Rahilly desperate at the lack of space on the air ways to hear the new emerging music came up with a plan. He would park a boat in international waters and broadcast pop and rock into the UK in defiance of the authorities. It worked beyond his wildest dreams.
19 Apr. 1991
The Human Face
A highly innovative arts documentary, which uses the latest special effects, to investigate the cultural and scientific background behind the way we judge people by their face. The documentary was presented by US artist and musician, Laurie Anderson whose face was transformed into iconic and historic stereotypes as she talked. Special effects were created by Christopher Tucker.
12 Feb. 1993
Edward Said: The Idea of Empire
Edward Said, a Palestinan writer, academic and exile, talks about his book "Culture and Imperialism" and explains how the attitudes forged over the last 200 years continue to enforce the relationship between the west and the developing world.
17 Apr. 1993
Tales of Rock 'N' Roll: Peggy Sue
Peggy Sue Gerron Rackham tells how Buddy Holly's songs Peggy Sue and Peggy Sue Got Married came to be written. She went to the same high school as Holly and married drummer Jerry Allison. Other people recall the era, including Donna Fox who inspired Ritchie Valens' song, Donna.
24 Apr. 1993
Tales of Rock 'N' Roll: Heartbreak Hotel
Once upon a time a headline caught the eye of 2 songwriters, and the song caught the eye of a rising star.
1 May 1993
Tales of Rock 'N' Roll: Walk on the Wild Side
Tells the story behind Lou Reed's song Walk on the Wild Side. The characters named in it were people who frequented Andy Warhol's studio in the late 1960s. Holly Woodlawn and Joe Dallesandro are the only "superstars" who have survived and they are interviewed in the programme. The programme presents a snapshot of a certain moment in the life of New York's underground culture.
8 May 1993
Tales of Rock 'N' Roll: Highway 61 Revisited
Investigates Bob Dylan's origins in Hibbing, Minnesota and takes a musical and historical journey down Highway 61 itself. John Bucklen, a teenage companion of Bob Dylan, provides some new insights into Dylan's earliest musical experiments and the journey Dylan himself undertook from a middle- class rock'n'roller in Hibbing to fashionable protest singer in New York.
18 Dec. 1993
Radio Night
A themed evening of shows looking at the history and way the two broadcasting mediums, radio and television, have shared ideas and productions through the years. Including "Heard But Not Seen", "It's Life Jim", "Pirates", "The Shipping Forecast", "Sunday Dinner", "Seven Ages of Radio", "The Spot FX Man", "The Time Signal"
11 Feb. 1995
The Peter Sellers Story - Southsea to Shepperton
The life and time of comedy genius Peter Sellers, told with the help of his extraordinary collections of home movies and featuring interviews with family, friends and colleagues.
15 Mar. 1997
A Night in with the Girls
A look at powerful women in British television.
25 Dec. 2001
Drake's Progress
Veteran entertainer Charlie Drake looks back over his life and career.
25 Dec. 2001
Max Bygraves: I Wanna Tell You a Story
A film profile of the legendary singer and entertainer.
25 Dec. 2001
Sykes and a Day
A profile of the legendary comedy actor Eric Sykes.
26 Dec. 2002
It's Time for 'Just a Minute'
A documentary about the long-running BBC Radio 4 panel game "Just a Minute".
26 Dec. 2002
Meet the Dead Ringers
A look behind the scenes of the popular Radio 4 comedy series.
29 Dec. 2003
Alec Guinness: A Secret Man
Arena documentary chronicles the life and work of one of Britain's greatest actors.
2 Jan. 2005
Dennis Potter: It's in the Songs! It's in the Songs!
Documentary looking at how playwright Dennis Potter used popular songs as a powerful dramatic device and to express the depth of his characters in 'Pennies From Heaven' and 'The Singing Detective'.
9 Jan. 2005
Dennis Potter: Potter on TV
A profile of Dennis Potter through archive interview and his role as a television critic.
26 Sep. 2005
Bob Dylan's Legends
Bob Dylan's songs are often inspired by the lives of real people. This film focuses on three - songwriter Woody Guthrie, boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter and comedian Lenny Bruce.
28 Sep. 2005
Dylan in the Madhouse
The story of Bob Dylan's first time in London in December 1962 to film the BBC drama 'Madhouse on Castle Street'.
10 Dec. 2005
Little Platform, Big Stage: A Celebration of the British Bus Conductor
A look at five conductors on London buses over five decades and the demise of the Routemaster bus.
25 Dec. 2005
Lunch with Galton and Simpson
Nigel Williams meets comedy writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson for lunch as they discuss their career including classics 'Hancock's Half Hour' and 'Steptoe and Son'.
12 Nov. 2006
Pete Doherty
A film profile of the controversial Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty.
17 Dec. 2006
1 Jan. 2007
The Archers
On 7 November 2006,"The Archers" hit the headlines of every national newspaper when it brought to a climax one of its biggest ever story-lines - the love triangle between David Archer (Tim Bentinck), his wife Ruth Archer (Felicity Finch) and herdsman Sam Batton. In the final seconds of the 15,000th episode of the soap, Ruth decided not to consummate her relationship with Sam, and five million listeners across Britain either heaved a collective sigh of relief, or felt cruelly disappointed. In the days that followed, the official Archers website received 1.2 million page impressions. The Ruth/...
3 Jun. 2007
Bob Marley: Exodus 77
The year 1977 was a crucial one in the life of reggae superstar Bob Marley. Forced to leave Jamaica he made an album in London, Exodus, that propelled his music and message of Rastafari across the planet.
13 Jul. 2007
Encountering Bergman
A profile of the famous Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman through the eyes of three people who interviewed him.
14 Aug. 2007
Dylan's Folk: The Pure, the Bad and the Holy
A look at the Newport folk festival and the American folk revival of the 60s, which encompassed old time mountain music, blues and gospel.
2 Sep. 2007
Flames of Passion: The Other Side of British Cinema
A programme making the case for the greatness of British films of the 40s, 50s and 60s.
4 Oct. 2007
The Original Archers
A visualisation of the earliest existing episode of the Archers from the BBC archives - 11th March 1952 - using archive footage to recreate the period.
6 Oct. 2007
Into the Limelight
A documentary looking at the tribute bands who play at and the life that revolves the Limelight Club in a converted Methodist church in Crewe in the north west of England.
24 Dec. 2007
Ken Dodd's Happiness
A tribute to the Liverpudlian comic Ken Dodd. He discusses his 50-year career and the influences of his comedy style.
10 Apr. 2008
The Strange Luck of V.S. Naipaul
Documentary profile of the life of the Nobel Laureate, V.S Naipaul widely regarded as Britain's greatest living author.
20 Sep. 2008
The Hunt for Moby-Dick
Writer Philip Hoare embarks on a journey to investigate humankind's fascination with the whale. He travels in the footsteps of Ishmael, narrator of "Moby Dick" from Southampton to America to the Azores.
21 Sep. 2008
The Whale in the Museum
Documentary about the Natural History Museum's Blue Whale exhibit.
3 Apr. 2009
Documentary exploring the meaning and history of cool through the American music that started in the 1940s in the bars of New York and LA, and became known as cool jazz.
6 Jun. 2009
T.S. Eliot
An in-depth look at the life and work of T.S. Eliot, one of the 20th century's most important literary figures.
22 Jan. 2010
Brian Eno: Another Green World
A profile of the musician Brian Eno.
29 Dec. 2010
Rolf Harris Paints His Dream
Arena enlists supermodels Lily Cole and Lizzy Jagger and actresses Dervla Kirwan and Emer Kenny to help Rolf Harris achieve his ambition of painting Titania as inspired by Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.
25 Apr. 2011
Produced by George Martin
A profile of legendary music producer Sir George Martin with the help of his son Giles and wife Judy with contributions from Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Michael Palin, Howard Goodall, Cilla Black, Bernard Cribbins and Rolf Harris.
10 Jan. 2012
Dickens on Film
Arts documentary which scours the archives to reveal why Charles Dickens' work translates so well onto the screen. It looks at films of the silent era, to the work of director David Lean and high definition TV adaptations.
17 Feb. 2012
Sonny Rollins '74-Rescued!
Restoration of a concert filmed at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in 1974.
31 Mar. 2012
Jonathan Miller
Documentary exploring the life of Sir Jonathan Miller CBE - a theatre and opera director, humorist and television presenter. With contributors including Kevin Spacey and Eric Idle.
23 Jul. 2012
Amy Winehouse: The Day She Came to Dingle
Documentary telling the story of the day Amy Winehouse recorded a stunning acoustic performance in a church in the small Irish fishing village of Dingle in 2006.
6 Oct. 2012
Magical Mystery Tour Revisited
A look at the Beatles' 1967 TV special, which premiered on British TV to (mostly) negative reviews.
25 Dec. 2012
Sister Wendy and the Art of the Gospel
After years of telling the story of Christian art, Sister Wendy Beckett tells her own.
21 Apr. 2013
aka Norman Parkinson
Examining the glamorous life and long career of pioneering photographer Norman Parkinson.
20 Mar. 2014
Whatever Happened to Spitting Image?
Documentary telling the story of the genesis of the satirical puppet show Spitting Image, with contributions from caricaturists Peter Fluck and Roger Law and producer John Lloyd.
22 Nov. 2015
Night and Day
To celebrate Arena's 40th anniversary, a new film made entirely from its own archive, evoking the one experience common to all - the 24-hour cycle from dawn to dusk to dawn again.

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See also

Episode Cast | Rated Episodes (by date / vote)| TV Schedule

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