When Tina Turner Came To Britain: air date, contributors and everything we know

Tina Turner smiles on stage during a performance at Wembley Stadium in 1990.
Tina Turner during a performance at Wembley Stadium in 1990. (Image credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

When Tina Turner Came To Britain is a new BBC documentary set to pay tribute to the titular musical icon, Tina Turner. 

Airing this Christmas, the show will focus on many different points in the superstar's life and make use of previously unheard interviews with the star herself in order to tell the story of Tina Turner's relationship with the UK.

Tina Turner said: "The love, energy and support I’ve had from Britain over the years has been amazing. I couldn’t have enjoyed the career I’ve had without my time spent in the UK and collaborations with amazing British songwriters, musicians and producers. I hope you love watching this documentary. From my very first visit to London in 1966 I always enjoyed visiting Britain and performing for fans across the country — it felt like my second home.."

Here's what you need to know about When Tina Turner Came To Britain.

When is When Tina Turner Came To Britain on TV?

When Tina Turner Came To Britain is part of the BBC's Christmas Day lineup and is set to air on BBC Two at 9.25 pm, following a repeat of Tina Turner at the BBC and airing before a repeat of Tina Live! This means you'll also be able to watch it online via BBC iPlayer. 

Currently, we don't know if the documentary will be released outside of the UK.

When Tina Turner Came To Britain will be followed by a second documentary film called When Motown Came To Britain. This second film will air on BBC Two on New Year's Day and will chart the very first UK tour undertaken by musicians on the Motown label like Stevie Wonder and The Supremes.

What is When Tina Turner Came To Britain about?

As we mentioned, the documentary will zoom in on various moments in Tina Turner's life, with the BBC claiming the doc is "the story of the key role Britain played in Tina’s extraordinary career and in turn, the huge influence Tina had on generations of UK musicians and fans."

If you're looking for more precise info, the BBC has already given us a solid idea of what to expect from When Tina Turner Came To Britain. Their full synopsis reads: "The film begins with Tina’s first visit, when, alongside her then husband Ike, she supported The Rolling Stones on tour in 1966 and performed in cities including London, Leeds and Glasgow. It then moves on to her second UK tour with Ike Turner in 1968, which saw her perform in smaller venues including in Dunstable (Bedfordshire), Beckenham (Kent), Harrogate (Yorkshire), Chesterfield (Derbyshire), Redcar (North Yorkshire), Nelson (Lancashire), St Austell (Cornwall) and more. 

"The programme then explores Tina’s solo reinvention in the late 1970s and 1980s, including performances at the Apollo, Manchester, on the popular TV show The Tube at Tyne Tees Studios in Newcastle and in front of huge stadium audiences at venues like the NEC in Birmingham. Finally, we see footage of Tina attending the world premiere of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical in London, in 2018."

Who will appear in When Tina Turner Came To Britain?

Along with clips of and interviews with the star herself, When Tina Turner Came To Britain boasts an impressive set of contributors from throughout Tina's career. Here's a full list of the names revealed by the BBC so far:

Expect to see Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware (of synth-pop duo, Heaven 17), P.P. Arnold, Skunk Anansie's Skin, choreographer Arlene Phillips, video and concert director David Mallet, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical producer Tali Pelman, journali

  • Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware of synth-pop duo, Heaven 17
  • Singer P.P. Arnold
  • Skunk Anansie's Skin
  • Arlene Phillips, who choreographed the music video to "Private Dancer"
  • Video and concert director, David Mallet
  • Tina: The Tina Turner Musical producer, Tali Pelman
  • Journalist and broadcaster Charles Shaar Murray
  • Music journalist Jacqueline Springer
  • Promoters Jenny and Barrie Marshall
  • Executive Producer of The Tube, Malcolm Gerrie

We've also learned that the doc will feature interviews with some of the musicians who supported Tina during her early performances, including Peter Jay (of Peter Jay and the New Jay Walkers) and Gary Laub from Hamilton and the Movement. Finally, we'll also be hearing from some of the fans who saw her perform in UK venues like the Boston Gliderdrome in Lincolnshire.

Is there a When Tina Turner Came To Britain trailer?

The BBC has not released a trailer for When Tina Turner Came To Britain at the time of writing, though if one arrives we'll be sure to include it here.

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at WhatToWatch.com

Martin was a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produced a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. Now he works for our sister site Tom's Guide in the same role.

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.