Michael Jackson revelations hailed as highlight of show
michael baggs
11:30 17th October 2012

The new biopic about Queen's frontman, Freddie Mercury: the Great Pretender – an Imagine Special (the title's a bit of a mouthful), aired last night on BBC1.

Despite host Alan Yentob insisting that the documentary would be "the closest we’ll get to the real Freddie Mercury", the general consensus seems to be that it didn't throw to light any juicy secrets or even really tell us anything that we didn't already know - even The Independent said it felt "rather more like a trip down rock memory lane than an hour of revelation or revisionism".

The biopic was supposed to focus on Mercury's solo career and issues surrounding his sexuality and the secrets of his private life. However, according to The Arts Desk, "[Freddie's] shyness and the protective persona, coupled with vigorous policing by the Queen organisation, meant that film-maker Rhys Thomas couldn't add a great deal to what's already known about Mercury."

Freddie Mercury: new documentary attempts to explore the secrets of his private life. 

The highlights seemed to be that Mercury fought "like a kid" with Brian May, that Queen were stuck in a lift when they found out that 'Bohemian Rhapsody' had reached number one and - perhaps the most interesting new fact of all - that Mercury was supposed to record a collaboration with Michael Jackson but it fell apart because Jackson kept bringing his pet llama into the recording studio.

One of the tracks of the collaboration was played - 'There Must Be More To Life Than This' which, The Metro says, "made Ebony And Ivory sound like thrash metal."

Michael Jackson had a pet llama which he demanded to take into the recording studio. Mercury even rang his manager to tell him "I'm performing with a llama!" before giving up and deciding he'd had enough.

The collaborations never made it onto Thriller - or even saw the light of day.

Essentially, if you're a fan of Freddie himself, the documentary is worth a watch. There's some rare footage thrown in and The Telegraph reckons that it's an "affectionate tribute" which captures him a "new light."

Otherwise, it doesn't seem like you're missing all that much.

Listen below to Freddie Mercury's 'The Great Pretender':


Photos: The Real Queen: Britain's Greatest Band Like You've Never Seen Them Before