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First Love


Five famous faces embark on an emotional journey into their past as they rekindle their first musical love. But do they fall in love again? And do they have the commitment and nerve to pull off a live performance?



Episode 1
Actor & comedian Lenny Henry has been entertaining the nation since 1975, but his first stage appearance in his hometown of Dudley was actually singing soul music. As Lenny develops his natural soul voice – a falsetto that sits uncomfortably with him and is worlds away from Theophilus P Wildebeeste – for a performance at London’s Jazz Café, he reveals how soul music gave him an identity and helped him through dark times during the early years of his career…

Episode 2
Award winning actor and writer Meera Syal is best known for her comic appearances in Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No 42. But before achieving fame, her passion in her early twenties was jazz singing. Thirty years on, she’ll be taking to the stage at legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott’s - but will life experience help Meera develop a voice like her heroines Nina Simone and Billie Holiday?

Episode 3
Best known for presenting ITV News, Katie Derham’s first love was the violin that her musical mother encouraged her to pick up at the age of eight. But during the course of relearning bowing and pitch in the build up to a professional chamber recital at London’s Kings Place, Katie’s painful memories of her mother’s untimely death come back to haunt her and the performance takes on a new significance…

Episode 4
DJ, broadcaster and author Mark Radcliffe had every young boy’s dream – to be the drummer in a chart topping rock band. Four decades later, he’s only just come to terms with the fact it might not happen. Picking up his sticks again, self taught Mark experiences his first ever drum lesson aged 52 as he prepares to perform on stage with Rufus Wainwright in front of 3,500 people at the Manchester Apollo.

Episode 5
Journalist and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter is known for her strong opinions and frank talking. Janet’s lifelong love of music and culture started when she took up the recorder aged 8 at primary school. Fifty years later, she relives the torment of music lessons and scales practice as she trains for a performance of her beloved baroque opera at The Wigmore Hall. But has she got the patience, focus and nerve to pull it off?


An Electric Sky Production for Sky Arts

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