Wednesday 20 July
BBC RADIO 2
Joan Collins gives a candid and witty account of her seven-decade career in show business, illustrated by a treasure trove of archive clips and music. She reflects on Hollywood, television, men, getting older and modern standards of beauty and glamour.
In this first of two episodes, Joan recalls growing up in a showbiz family. Her two aunts worked on the stage whilst her father Joe was an agent to the stars. Consequently the family home was always full of singers and dancers, and it was here she first met Roger Moore after returning from school one day.
While studying at Rada as a teenager, Joan was offered a contract by film and entertainment company – the Rank Organisation. Dubbed the ‘coffee bar jezebel’ by the British press owing to her sultry looks and bad girl roles, Joan reflects on playing a jail bird in the 1953 film Turn The Key Softly.
Joan talks about being hired by 20th Century Fox at the age of 21 and moving to Hollywood. Bette Davis was the first major star she worked with, and roles followed opposite a cluster of Hollywood’s leading men including Paul Newman, James Mason, Richard Burton, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.
Joan also speaks candidly about her marriage to Anthony Newley. She describes glamorous married life in Beverly Hills and how the demise of their relationship was immortalised in one of Newley’s songs.
With contributions from Sir Roger Moore, Stephanie Beacham, David Hasselhoff, Julian Clary and David Emanuel.
Presenter/Joan Collins, Producer/Victoria Ferran for Just Radio Ltd
Wednesday 27 July
BBC RADIO 2
Joan Collins gives a candid and witty account of her seven decade career in showbusiness, illustrated by a treasure trove of archive clips and music. She reflects on Hollywood, television, men, losing out on Cleopatra to Elizabeth Taylor, getting older and modern standards of beauty and glamour.
In part two, Joan recalls her return to acting in the 1970s. She vividly describes how she almost died whilst filming Empire Of The Ants and her two year battle to find a backer for The Stud – a film based on her sister Jackie’s raunchy novel and set in London’s Tramp nightclub. She celebrates the string of disco hits that featured on the soundtrack.
Joan talks about how her close friend, American TV producer Aaron Spelling, who invited her to play Cleopatra in his hit show Fantasy Island – a role she’d originally been offered by 20th Century Fox in the early ‘60s until she was replaced by friend and rival Elizabeth Taylor.
When it came to casting the role of Alexis Carrington in Dynasty, Spelling was adamant that Joan be given the part – despite the studio’s strong objections. Joan remembers how she prepared for the iconic ‘80s role: “I basically based my character a little bit on Donald Trump who I knew at the time, a feisty go-ahead businessman. I thought this will be good to use this as a basis for how my character is.”
Joan also describes the joys of spending time in St Tropez, which is the setting for her latest novel, St Tropez Lonely Hearts Club, as well as performing in panto with close friend Julian Clary, and becoming a real-life Dame in March 2015. With contributions from Sir Roger Moore, Stephanie Beacham, David Hasselhoff, Julian Clary and David Emanuel.