Darcey Bussell investigates the life of one of the world’s greatest ballerinas in one off documentary Looking For Margot which premieres on BBC One on 20 December at 10.45pm
Margot Fonteyn has inspired generations of ballerinas. She was beautiful, brilliant, talented and never put a foot wrong on stage. Her late flowering partnering with Rudolf Nureyev created the most dazzling ballet partnership in history. And yet behind the scenes, as Darcey Bussell discovers, Margot’s life was marked by tragedy and disappointment.
She barely knew her father, and was dominated by her well-meaning yet fiercely ambitious mother. She couldn’t find love, and never had children. And when she finally did marry, to a man she loved from afar for many years, he turned out to be very different than she expected: a hero to his people, but not always to his wife.
Darcey Bussell goes behind the scenes at the Royal Opera House and the Royal Ballet, and travels from London to New York and Panama looking for Margot. She finds how Margot lost out in love, got drawn into a failed foreign revolution, danced on for far too long, and died alone and in poverty, miles from home.
Along the way Darcey speaks to many people who have not spoken out before about Margot. In the end, Darcey learns that by following her heart Margot did find a kind of happiness – even though it came at a high price.
Looking For Margot airs on BBC One on 20 December at 10.45pm to 11.45pm