ENTERTAINMENT

Louis Theroux Documentaries: 6 Of The Filmmaker's Best, To Watch Ahead Of His New BBC Projects

The films you need to see - or rediscover - before the new docs.

17/03/2016 15:34 GMT | Updated 02/03/2017 18:51 GMT

Louis Theroux has announced plans for three all-new BBC Two documentaries that will be released later this year, and though no official air date has yet been given, we’re hoping the wait will be relatively short.

Sadly, we can’t do anything about the Beeb’s television schedule, but this is a good chance to flick through the archives and rediscover - or watch for the first time - some of Louis’ most memorable previous efforts.

Whether he’s asking celebrities the questions nobody else will, or meeting real people on the street who are struggling with a variety of issues, the filmmaker always manages to find a previously untold side of the story.

As the wait for his new films begins, here are six of his other documentaries well worth watching…

1. ‘When Louis Met… Jimmy’

In late 1999, Louis spent three months with Jimmy Savile, who was, at the time, considered by most to be a much-loved celebrity. In his usual style, Louis quizzed the TV personality on a number of issues he had often evaded, bringing up his personal life, including allegations of paedophilia.

Despite the fact he managed to show a different side to Jimmy, the darker side that hit headlines following his death remained hidden. Watching the documentary now makes for an eerie experience, and Louis has since admitted to feeling “a sense of responsibility” for the fact he didn’t uncover the truth about Savile. He’s also returned to Savile’s hometown and met people including his former associates and victims. 

2. ‘The City Addicted To Crystal Meth’

BBC

For this 2009 film, Louis travelled to Fresno in California, which has one of the highest numbers of meth addicts of all the cities in the US. While there, Louis met a number of people in various stages of addiction, and thanks to his non-judgmental, and friendly - yet assertive - interview method, he uncovered the personal stories behind the statistics.

3. ‘My Scientology Movie’

After more than a decade of struggling to gain access to the elusive church, Louis decided on a new method. Rather than trying to interview its members, he began speaking to former members, and working on an actual movie based on their stories. He then waited for the Church of Scientology to search for him, which they did, in a bid to dispel negative press.

4. ‘A Place For Paedophiles’

BBC

Louis was the first filmmaker to ever receive permission to film at Coalinga State Hospital, a facility built to rehabilitate peadophiles and sexual offenders. The 60-minute film sees Louis explore how people who have committed sex crimes are treated in the US, and gives viewers an insight into five-phase treatment programme practiced at the hospital.

However, very few patients are ever released from the facility, and therapy is rarely used.

5. ‘America’s Most Dangerous Pets’

While there are obviously many serious implications to keeping tigers, baboons and other potentially dangerous animals as pets, this documentary sees Louis take a lighter approach, discovering more about the relationships pet owners form with the animals, that shouldn’t be living in back gardens.

6. ‘When Louis Met… The Hamiltons’

We all know this clip of a tipsy Christine Hamilton flirting with Louis, but there is far more to this film, which also shows the Hamiltons being arrested (twice), before suing the police for wrongful arrest, and taking legal action against an individual who accused them of sexual assault.

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