Louis Theroux

BBC Two announces Louis Theroux: Life on the Edge

Louis Theroux (Credit: BBC)

The four-part series delves into over 60 hours of Theroux’s catalogue of innovative and distinctive documentaries, exploring topics such as mental health, those engaging in unusual lifestyle choices and people who live on the fringes of society.

The documentary features interviews with Theroux and sees him catch up with some of his most famous contributors whose lives have panned out in some surprising and unexpected ways.

Ear Candy: Grounded with Louis Theroux

It is his first foray into the world of celebrity since the TV series When Louis Met…. As he and his guests navigate the new territory of remote interviewing, his signature silences could be mistaken for a Zoom glitch or a phone delay.

Theroux kicks off the series with a conversation with his professional rival, documentary-maker Jon Ronson.

They discuss their shared TV experiences and some of Ronson’s notable career moments. These include trying to organise a night in a haunted house for Robbie Williams.

Editing masterclass with Emma Lysaght and Matthew Gray

Matthew Gray and Emma Lysaght (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

How to get into editing: Emma Lysaght: “I left school at 16. My father was a film editor so I grew up watching my dad cut film. It was something I’d always wanted to do.

“It was quite a male environment, I was very nervous and very shy. I didn’t get into the cutting room until I was 19. My dad knew of one female editor.

“She needed an assistant so I stepped in and became her assistant. Within the first few months I was cutting news for Channel 4, which was very pressurised but you know exactly what you’ve got to do in those three minutes.

Documentary masterclass with Arthur Cary

Arthur Cary (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

From comedy to docs, via reality TV: “With my writing partner from university, I was writing script-based comedy… we got close a few times to getting things away but it wasn’t quite working,” recalled Cary.

He landed a job as a runner at Endemol, working on BBC Three show Celebrity Scissorhands and then Big Brother: “I exploited every connection I had at Endemol and got a job at North One, which used to make a lot of Cutting Edge [documentaries] for Channel 4.”

Louis Theroux investigates the UK sex trade in new documentary

Louis Theroux: Selling Sex (Credit: BBC)

The BBC Two documentary follows Theroux as he learns of the legality of the service and learns how social media and websites have fuelled new opportunities for the business of selling sex, making transactional sex more accessible to individuals who possibly wouldn’t have considered it previously.

The filmmaker will meet with people in the industry and explore the reasons behind their choice to sell sex, such as to supplement their income or make a living, potentially earning a lucrative income.

Louis Theroux returns to America’s most hated family

Louis Theroux (Credit: BBC)

The Westboro Baptist Church, a controversial Christian ministry, are known for protesting and picketing high profile events, including military funerals and creating antagonistic homophobic placards.

Having been led by Pastor Fred Phelps, also known as ‘Gramps’ to the congregation, his death in 2014 led to extreme changes within the tight-knit family community.

In a time of Trump’s America, controversial statements are now commonplace and the relevance of the church has been brought into question, threatening to tear it apart.

How to make great TV according to Louis Theroux

Louis Theroux (Credit: BBC)

“I was not a conventional presence,” says the documentary maker, who is now entering his 24th year in television with over 50 films under his belt.

His opportunity came in 1994, when he joined Michael Moore’s series TV Nation. “I went into the interview with Michael saying ‘I’ll do anything’ and I genuinely meant it: writing researching or doing anything.”

That is his first tip for tomorrow’s Therouxs: focus on making good TV.

This week's top TV: 2 - 8 October

Comedy: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Monday

Sky Atlantic, 10pm

Curb Your Enthusiasm is back after a six year absence. We last saw Larry David in Paris after being driven out of New York by his neighbour (Michael J. Fox) and the mayor. 

Now Larry is back in LA, where he manages to offend Jeff's (Oliver Hardy) barber and land himself in trouble over a new project.