Belfast Telegraph

Beatles and Elvis Presley: Story of Bel Air meeting recreated in Radio 2 play

The historic moment the Fab Four met the king of rock 'n' roll will be recreated in a new radio play almost 50 years to the day since it happened.

A Radio 2 play will revisit the Beatles' trip to Elvis Presley's Los Angeles mansion with the star of The Game, Tom Hughes, playing John Lennon.

Presley is played by K evin Mains, who previously starred as the US singer in the West End show Million Dollar Quartet and portrayed Paul McCartney in ITV's Cilla.

Two other stars of Cilla, Tom Dunlea and Michael Hawkins, recreate their roles from that show, playing Ringo Starr and George Harrison respectively, with Shaun Mason as Paul McCartney.

Hughes said: "It's said that you shouldn't meet your heroes, I'm not sure that's true. John Lennon is a hero of mine. I'll never have the chance to meet him, so playing him is the next best thing. I was delighted to be asked and I just hope that in some way I've done this great man justice."

The meeting, which took place at Presley's Bel Air mansion on August 27 1965, was not filmed or taped and only a few people know what really happened.

It has been recreated by writer Jeff Young who said it made for "a strange and compelling narrative".

He said: " The piece that has emerged is a kind of fake documentary. Elvis's life was an American tragedy and the seeds of it are sown here in this meeting between the King and the pretenders to the throne.

"The Beatles were so young, bewildered and overwhelmed by their rapid rise to fame. In writing this drama I went back my old Beatles records and I became a Beatles fan, all over again."

When Elvis Met The Beatles airs at 7pm on Monday August 31 as part of a series dedicated to Presley and the Beatles.

Other shows include an interview with Presley's widow Priscilla and a documentary about the records that influenced him as a young man.


From Belfast Telegraph