BBC to broadcast documentary charting the final moments of Kurt Cobain’s life

The documentary “celebrates and remembers the life and musical legacy” of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain 30 years on from his death.

Kurt Cobain performing live

Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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This April marks the 30th anniversary of Kurt Cobain taking his own life. In honour of the Nirvana frontman’s musical legacy, the BBC has announced a series of dedicated programming across TV and Radio to celebrate his career and ongoing impact.

The celebration will be taking place on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music, as well as a dedicated evening of programming on 6th April on BBC Two. The climactic finale will be a brand-new documentary, Moments That Shook Music: Kurt Cobain.

The Touchdown Films documentary will detail the final days of Cobain’s life up until taking his own life on 5 April 1994. The film aims to patch together different sources to fully immerse viewers in the tragic unfolding of events, just as fans did 30 years ago.

As the BBC explains, the documentary will include a poignant series of clips surrounding the chaotic turn of events. With an account from the electrician who discovered Kurt’s body, to fan confusion on the scene, to Courtney Love reading her late husband’s suicide letter, the documentary will fully capture the devastation from all those impacted by Cobain’s tragic passing.

Jonathan Rothery, Head of BBC Popular Music TV, believes that the documentary will be a vital retelling of musical history. “Kurt Cobain’s life and death has turned into myth and legend since his passing,” he says. “This documentary tries to demystify that moment in time by telling the story direct from the scene, via fly on the wall footage filmed by those that were there.”

Producer and director John Osborne also believes the documentary will serve as the only way to truly understand the impact of Cobain’s passing back in 1994. “We are incredibly proud to be working with the BBC on this film, who share in our vision of using only archive to take viewers back to 1994; to immerse themselves in this seismic story,” he tells the BBC.

“Kurt Cobain was the voice of a generation, but a reluctant one, and his death left a huge void,” Osbourne continues. “The only way to get a true sense of what happened is to witness it first hand, and that’s exactly what this film does. It never lets you look away.”

BBC Two will also be showing re-runs of When Nirvana Came To Britain, Foo Fighters at Reading 2019 and more. BBC Sounds will also have a collection from Friday 5th April, including the Kurt Cobain Forever Playlist, Nirvana Live, Nirvana at the BBC, and more.

BBC Radio 2 will be celebrating Cobain’s legacy by playing tracks from Nevermind and sharing listeners’ memories on Jo Whiley’s show, while Dermot O’Leary will mark the anniversary by playing a Nirvana track during his own slot.

Over on BBC Radio 6 Music, they will be honouring Cobain with Kurt Cobain Forever. Running from 7am-7pm, every hour a Cobain track will play. Songs will be introduced by voicenotes from famous fans, including Courtney Taylor-Taylor of The Dandy Warhols, Carlos O’Connell of Fontaines D.C., Lia Metcalfe of The Mysterines and others.


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