When the Gazza documentary is on, plus new trailer

Gazza Paul Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne will be remembered as one of England's most talented footballers (Image credit: BBC)

New BBC2 documentary miniseries, Gazza, will tell the story of the footballing career and life of English football legend, Paul Gascoigne. 

Featuring archive footage and accompanied by contemporary narration, the two-part series will chart his meteoric rise, his best moments on the pitch and his chequered personal life. 

The candid film will also offer a startling new perspective on the lengths some in the tabloid press went to in order to gain access to his private life and manipulate it for their own gain.

With never-before-seen archive footage and personal home videos, the series is also expected to cover his battle with alcoholism. Here's everything we know about the upcoming series... 

Gazza release date

Gazza will premiere on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on Wednesday, April 13 at 9pm. The second episode of Gazza will be available immediately after the first has aired on BBC2

Gazza Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne has been admitted to rehab on several occasions  (Image credit: BBC)

What's Gazza about? 

A BBC synopsis reads...

"For many, Paul Gascoigne was the face of 90s Britain, captured on countless front and back page splashes; the most celebrated young footballer in the world and a newspaper editor’s dream, his on field brilliance was matched only by his off-field antics. His story has been told many times before, but never like this.

"As football soared in popularity, a cheeky and charming new hero of the people came along - a young, working-class footballer from Newcastle called Paul Gascoigne. He relished the riches and limelight that fame provided, but he was deeply troubled by a painful past.

"At the same time, the 90s saw a fundamental shift in the British tabloid media with their efforts to capture ever larger readerships for their newspapers. This appetite created young editors and journalists whose own ambitions depended on delivering that audience, something they did by taking control of the world of celebrity.

"A sporting and tabloid phenomenon, the character of 'Gazza' became a household name, frequently dominating both the front and back pages of newspapers. In the battle for readers, journalists went to increasingly extreme lengths to get the latest scoop on one of England's most controversial footballing stars. His addictions and behaviour were too often out of control and he badly hurt those around him, but he also found himself exploited by those who did not always have his best interests at heart.

"Gazza is a snapshot of a crucial moment in our cultural history when the levels of fame and money in football started their exponential rise, fuelling the growing modern obsession with our sporting stars. It is also a very personal story about the intense pressures that come with this fame. Pressures which many young sports stars feel today.

"The series includes contributions from Paul’s friends, family, his former agents and advisors, former teammates and coaches; and some of the tabloid journalists who wrote about him."

Gazza Paul Gascoigne

Gascoigne is remembered for his performances at Italia '90 (Image credit: BBC)

What will be included on Gazza? 

Here's a brief list of notable moments from Paul Gascoigne's career that are expected to feature in the two-part series...

1988 — 21 year-old Gascoigne turns down Manchester United to moves from his hometown club, Newcastle United, to Tottenham Hotspur for a British record transfer fee of £2.2m.

1990 — Gascoigne becomes a national hero as his inspirational performances led England to their best World Cup performance since 1966. However, he breaks down in tears after a booking in the semi-final against West Germany means he will miss the final should England make it through.

1991 — While playing for Spurs in the FA Cup Final, Gascoigne ruptures his cruciate ligaments and is forced to watch his teammates win the cup from hospital. In the semi-final win over Arsenal Gazza scored one of the greatest ever FA Cup goals.

1992 — After recovering from his knee injury, Gascoigne moves from Tottenham to Italian side, Lazio, for £5.5m.

1993 — England fail to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

1995 — Gascoigne leaves Italy and joins Scottish side, Rangers, for £4.3m. He's an immediate success in Glasgow, winning two titles in Scotland and becoming a club legend.

1996 — Gascoigne scores his most famous goal when England play Scotland at Wembley in Euro '96. However England are once again eliminated on penalties by Germany at the semi-final stage.

1998 — Glenn Hoddle omits Gascoigne from his England squad to take part in that year's World Cup in France.

Gazza Paul Gascoigne

Gascoigne celebrates after scoring against Scotland at Euro '96 (Image credit: BBC)

Paul Gascoigne on Gazza

“This is the real story of my time in football — the good and the bad of who I am — and what really happened around me," says Paul Gascoigne. "So much of this has never been seen before. It feels good to be telling my side of the story and to be working with the Western Edge Pictures team and the BBC, who have delivered this in the best way possible to my fans.”

Simon Young, Commissioning Editor, says: “As we head into a World Cup year, there couldn't be a timelier moment to look at this piece of our recent history. Paul's story is a cautionary tale about the pressure of life in the public eye, and we are privileged that he, his family and friends, and those who wrote stories about him at the time, have chosen to work with us on such a startlingly honest portrayal.”

Vaughan Sivell, Executive Producer, says: “It's been fantastic to work with the BBC in bringing this hugely impactful story of British media and sporting culture to the screen. Paul's highs and lows have made him a footballing icon of our time.”

Gazza trailer

Yes, the BBC has finally released a trailer. It features many of his highs and lows, and some great goals.

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and whattowatch.com

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.