Netflix to chart highs and lows of Robbie Williams’ career in documentary series

A clip from the upcoming series was teased at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
Netflix to chart highs and lows of Robbie Williams’ career in documentary series

By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

Netflix has announced a documentary series charting the highs and lows of Robbie Williams’ career, as a top UK executive of the streaming service reaffirmed its commitment to producing UK content.

The news was delivered during the Edinburgh TV Festival, where Netflix teased a video clip from the series showing the former Take That star, 48, lying naked on a sofa as he describes his singing voice as a “gift from God”.

Directed by Joe Pearlman, who was behind the Bros documentary After The Screaming Stops, it will feature 25 years’ worth of never-before-seen archive and intimate footage of Williams.

Asif Kapadia, best known for his documentary films about Amy Winehouse, Ayrton Senna and Diego Maradona, will executive produce alongside Dominic Crossley-Holland.

Netflix has said the multi-part series, which will launch in 2023, will be an “unfiltered, in-depth examination” of Williams’ life in the limelight.

Elsewhere during the festival session, Anne Mensah, vice president of original series at Netflix, responded to the streamer shedding subscribers as reported widely earlier this year.

Reflecting on the effects of this loss on the rest of the company, she said: “I’m not sure it trickles down, as trickles down suggests something really negative.

“This is a company that is founded on resilience and innovation.

“The whole industry is facing headwinds whether people duck the question or not, this is a tricky time for all of us, not least because we’re in a country that’s about to face a huge financial crisis.

“And the people that we serve, we need to make sure that they absolutely 100% value what we’re doing.”

Ms Mensah added that she thinks competition is the “best thing” and reiterated her praise for the BBC and said she was “excited” by what Disney is doing.

Ben Kelly, UK director of unscripted series at Netflix, said he does not think the cost-of-living crisis within the UK will affect the streamer’s ability to take risks with regard to programming.

 

He said no-one would have predicted the Korean survival drama show Squid Game would “take over the world” and that it is down to the broadcasters and producers to “keep that space of being surprised open and take risks”.

Earlier in the festival, the BBC’s chief content officer Charlotte Moore hit back at Channel 4’s chief content officer Ian Katz for describing the current trend of TV reboots as “depressing”.

Ms Mensah also responded to the debate, saying: “I’m not entirely sure why reboots have become such a big thing in this festival if I’m honest, as I don’t think that’s the point, I think the point is who’s the appointed voice behind the show.”

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