The BBC has commissioned RDF (part of Banijay UK) to produce a four-part series, Rock of All Ages (w/t), in which two famous names in music form bands of incredible musicians who just happen to be over 65.
The mission? To form two bands good enough to rock out an iconic music festival this summer in a bid to hear it from the people who lived it.
Patrick Holland, BBC Director, Factual, Arts and Classical Music Television, said: ‘This promises to be a hugely inspiring, celebratory and emotional search to find some great musicians over 65 and put their creativity centre-stage. RDF first pitched this idea before the pandemic and it always promised to unite the generations through a shared love of great music. Now the programme has become even more timely and resonant, showing that it is never too late to realise your dreams.’
Martin Kemp said, “I’ve been involved in music and bands since I was Sixteen years old, from a school punk band called ‘The Defects’, playing to just a few friends in small pubs and clubs, to Spandau Ballet enjoying every second of the sheer overwhelming thrill of walking out onto a festival stage in front of 50,000 fans! I can’t wait to share that experience with the lucky few who make it into my band.. who for whatever reason, their Rock dreams didn’t quite happen. I’m so excited to give them a chance of a lifetime to make those dreams come true!”
Lady Leshurr added, “I’m super excited to be involved in Rock of Ages and cannot wait to get out there to start my search for the best musical talent the UK has to offer. Our band members will prove that age is no barrier and that no matter how old you are, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. There’s so much incredible talent around and I can’t wait to go on this exciting journey with them.”
Dan Barraclough, RDF Executive Producer, said:
“After the year we’ve had, with families kept apart from parents and grandparents, it was time to put the older generation centre stage…and show that when it comes to music you’re never too old to rock it out with the best of them. There’s going to be some dusting down of ancient Fenders but we’re confident the talent is out there. And we’re thrilled to have Martin Kemp and Lady Leshurr on board to lead their troops into battle.”
Each band will be hand-selected by Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp and rapper Lady Leshurr, following an extensive search of amateur musicians across the UK. From singers and guitarists, to keyboards and drummers, the band members could be in their 70s, 80s and even 90s… But in this show, age is just a number when it comes to talent.
Mentors Martin and Lady Leshurr will guide the bands, putting them through their paces and providing invaluable insight and support ahead of their final performance in front of thousands of screaming music fans. It’s here that we see the bands go head-to-head with the roar of the audience cheers to determine the winning performance.
Along the way, the mentors will also call on expert advice from famous faces to help inspire their new recruits.
Rock of All Ages is a 4 x 60 ‘ for BBC Two and iPlayer, made by RDF, part of Banijay UK. Executive Producer for the series is Dan Barraclough for RDF. It was commissioned Patrick Holland, Director Factual Arts and Classical Music Television. The Commissioning Editors for the BBC are Emily Smith and Owen Courtney.