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The BBC will be reflecting the release of Now And Then – the last song by The Beatles - and celebrating the enduring legacy of the band with a range of programmes on TV, radio and online.

The song was originally written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later.

On Wednesday 1 November, BBC One’s The One Show, presented by Alex Jones and Ronan Keating will be joined by 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne, who will introduce the exclusive UK TV broadcast of the short film ‘Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song.’

The short film contains exclusive footage and commentary from Paul, Ringo, George, Sean Ono Lennon and Peter Jackson.

It tells the story behind the last Beatles song - one which began in the late 1970s, when John Lennon recorded a demo with vocals and piano at his home in New York’s Dakota building and ends in 2023, with Paul and Ringo re-entering the studio to finally finish ‘Now And Then’.

The short film, with introduction and comment from Lauren, will be available on BBC iPlayer after broadcast. Also appearing in the studio will be guests including producer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and son of George Martin, Giles Martin.

On Saturday 4 November, BBC Two and BBC iPlayer will celebrate The Beatles from 8pm until late, with new content and classic programmes from the BBC’s archive.

The Beatles & the BBC – the relationship between The Beatles and the BBC has always been a special and fascinating one. This programme looks back at some key moments that saw the BBC document the band’s journey as they went from Merseybeat heroes with mop-tops and MBEs, to seeing out the sixties as long-haired heroes of the counter-culture.

In the early years, an interview on the BBC was something the band would pursue and embrace, but as their fame spread, their TV appearances became increasingly rare. The changing dynamic is captured here through a combination of classic music performances and the very best moments from the BBC’s archives.

Moments include: a rare performance of Ticket to Ride on a 1965 William Hartnell episode of Doctor Who; an interview with Paul McCartney on A Degree of Frost (1964) in which he discusses early retirement plans and writing with John Lennon; Blue Peter and Panorama reports from 1965 on The Beatles receiving MBEs; and a rarely seen, six-minute version of All You Need is Love from the famous Our World live broadcast across Europe in June 1967.

Episode four of the current series of Later... with Jools Holland (Saturday 4 November, BBC Two) will reflect the celebration by featuring a guest appearance from Olivia Harrison, who reveals her favourite Beatles song to Jools. The show also features performances from Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, Izo FitzRoy, OMD, Sampha and Willie J Healey.

These programmes will be available on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after broadcast.


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