The Day John Lennon Died - Cast of characters recount the events of 8 Dec 1980
Channel Hopper - Only Yoko Ono emerges from this documentary with dignity intact
John Lennon. Devoted husband and father. Pioneer of peace. Writer of landmark pop songs. Had a thing about round specs. Loved a good manly embrace. ‘I remember he immediately put his arm round my shoulder and said thanks for coming,’ notes Andy Peebles, the Radio 1 jock who conducted the final interview for a British audience. ‘When I stood next to him, John put his right arm around my shoulder and … pulled me to him,’ recalls Paul Goresh, the fan who took the photo of Lennon signing a copy of Double Fantasy for Mark Chapman, the man who would later pump bullets into Lennon’s body.
OK, this might not be the most revelatory piece of news about the first Beatle to wave hello, goodbye to the planet but The Day John Lennon Died (ITV1, Mon 6 Dec, 9pm) is not a documentary that seeks to uncover any fresh insight into the icon who was gunned down outside New York’s Dakota Building 30 years ago, but merely runs through the events of 8 December 1980. In the main, this is tastefully and evocatively done, though some characters such as the LA lawyer who had ‘babysat’ Lennon during his separation from Yoko and the surgeon who attempted to resuscitate the dying Scouser recall the day with a little too much theatrical relish. Meanwhile, Cilla gets a chance to inform us how ‘shocked’ she was while Liam Gallagher was ‘fucking angry’. Only the berated, embattled and lonely Yoko Ono emerges with dignity intact.