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Mad About The Boy: The Noel Coward Story (BBC Two Tuesday December 26th 2023)



Mad About The Boy

Discover the extraordinary life of Noel Coward, the maverick who defied expectations and left an indelible mark on theater, film, and music.

The Life and Legacy of Noel Coward

In the vast pantheon of entertainment legends, there are few names that shine as brightly as Noel Coward. The man was a true maverick, a trailblazer who left an indelible mark on the world of theater, film, and music. Now, his extraordinary journey is brought to life in the fascinating documentary, “Mad About The Boy: The Noel Coward Story.”

Narrated by the incomparable Alan Cumming, with the equally iconic Rupert Everett as the voice of Noel Coward, this documentary takes us on a journey through the life and times of a man who defied expectations and shattered boundaries. Coward’s own words, music, and remarkable home movies provide an intimate glimpse into his world, allowing us to truly understand the essence of this creative genius.

From his humble beginnings in a shabby London suburb, to becoming the highest-paid writer in the world and a star of both the stage and screen, Coward’s impact on the arts cannot be overstated. His plays, such as “Private Lives,” “Blithe Spirit,” and “Brief Encounter,” are timeless classics that continue to be performed to this day. His films, including the critically acclaimed “In Which We Serve,” showcased his undeniable talent as a director and actor.


But Coward’s story goes far beyond his artistic achievements. As a queer man in a straight-dominated world, he faced numerous challenges and barriers. Yet, he refused to be defined by societal constraints and instead embraced his true self. Coward’s journey serves as an inspiration to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, reminding us that greatness can come from embracing our authenticity.

The documentary also sheds light on Coward’s role as a talent scout, discovering the likes of John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, and David Lean. It reveals his involvement as a spy during World War II, showcasing his unwavering patriotism and bravery. And, of course, it pays tribute to his incredible songwriting prowess, with appearances from legendary figures such as Frank Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, and Lucille Ball.

Director Barnaby Thompson expertly weaves together interviews, archival footage, and reenactments to create a tapestry that captures the essence of Noel Coward’s life and legacy. Thompson’s meticulous attention to detail transports us back in time, immersing us in a world of glamour, sophistication, and artistic brilliance.

“Mad About The Boy: The Noel Coward Story” is a must-watch for anyone with an appreciation for the arts, for those who find solace and inspiration in the lives of extraordinary individuals. It is a celebration of talent, resilience, and the pursuit of one’s passion. As Frank Sinatra once said, “If you want to hear how a song should be sung, go see Mr Noel Coward.”


Tune in to BBC Two on Boxing Day Tuesday, December 26th, 2023 at 9.00pm.

(Image: BBC/Fragile Films Ltd./Unigram Media Ltd./Noel Coward Estate/Mark Swain)

Featured Image Credit: BBC Two


Isabelle aka Izzy Jacobs is the UK previews specialist at Isabelle is particularly drawn to crime dramas, but she also has a not so secret love for all things reality TV. In addition to her work at, Isabelle is also an avid traveler and a devoted foodie.

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