BBC Arts has announced Peter Sellers: A State of Comic Ecstasy, a new documentary coming to BBC Two on Saturday, May 9th. In the documentary on one of the greatest comedians of all time, friends and family, colleagues and critics reveal insight into the real Peter Sellers.
Alongside interviews with his daughters Sarah and Victoria, famous fans such as Michael Palin, Steve Coogan and Hanif Kureishi lend their thoughts on what Peter Sellers meant to them.
The film also features an exclusive interview with Sellers’ second wife, Britt Ekland, who has never spoken before to any documentary or biographer about her life and turbulent marriage with Sellers.
The 75-minute-long Peter Sellers: A State of Comic Ecstasy, to be broadcast on BBC Two to mark the 40th anniversary of his death this summer, explores the life of this peerless actor and comedian. It will uncover not only his vast talent, but also the complexities of his personal life.
We hear from many of the women he was associated with — Nanette Newman, Sinead Cusack, Janette Scott — and his multiple secretaries alongside acquaintances and colleagues.
The documentary includes director Joe McGrath and actor Simon Williams, who recall tales of Sellers’ extravagant behavior on set to give a fully-rounded picture of the comic genius and the man behind it.
Mark Bell, Director, BBC Arts, says: “BBC Arts brings audiences the very best in arts and culture, and is proud to include profiles of the figures who have shaped the cultural landscape as we know it.
“Peter Sellers had a profound impact on film and comedy, a genius as a performer but a mercurial personality; this in-depth look offers many revealing insights into his life and times, and I hope will offer an engaging diversion for people in lockdown.”
Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, added: “Peter Sellers is a unique figure, a homegrown comic talent who took America by storm and became one of the major cultural influencers of the 70s. This film for BBC Two explores the man behind the enigma and promises to be a real treat”.
Peter Sellers: A State of Comic Ecstasy was commissioned by Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor for BBC Arts. It is executive produced by Greg Sanderson for Brook Lapping at Zinc Media. John O’Rourke is the producer-director.
Peter Sellers was best known for the BBC Radio comedy series The Goon Show and playing Inspector Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther films.
His credits also included I’m All Right Jack, Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita and Dr. Strangelove, What’s New, Pussycat?, Casino Royale, The Party, and Being There.