Martin Freeman set to present podcast about The Beatles to celebrate the release of the


Martin Freeman is presenting a new podcast about The Beatles to celebrate the band’s upcoming new track release

The band are set to release their ‘final’ song next week thanks to the help of AI technology, 50 years after the band broke up. 

Titled Now and Then, the track was originally written by John Lennon and is based on a 1970s demo record that Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Star have been working on for the last four decades. 

With the help of artificial intelligence they have managed to ‘extricate’ John’s vocals from the old demo to finish the song. 

Sherlock star Martin, 52, recorded the BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds podcast series in Liverpool as an homage to where the band was formed.

Exciting: Martin Freeman is presenting a new podcast about The Beatles to celebrate the band¿s upcoming new track release (Martin pictured in February)

Exciting: Martin Freeman is presenting a new podcast about The Beatles to celebrate the band’s upcoming new track release (Martin pictured in February)

It's here: The band are set to release their 'final' song next week thanks to the help of AI technology, 50 years after the band broke up (band pictured)

It’s here: The band are set to release their ‘final’ song next week thanks to the help of AI technology, 50 years after the band broke up (band pictured)

The series will follow the history of The Beatles, from the start of their career to British Beatlemania, their arrival in the US, their break-up and subsequent solo careers.

The podcast features a never before heard interview with George Harrison, Paul and Ringo as they land in London Airport, now Heathrow Airport, after playing in France, almost 60 years ago.

The interview took place on February 5 1964, shortly before the band travelled to New York and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

BBC archivist Elliot Gibson said: ‘I found this interview which was originally on a physical reel of tape which contained news clips whilst undertaking a project to digitise 30,000 quarter-inch reels from the BBC archive.

‘There’s often something surprising to be found in old archive material when you scratch the surface, but I never expected to find something of this quality – a complete Beatles interview by reporter Reg Abbiss.

‘Initially, I assumed it was a copy of an interview that was widely known, so when I checked and discovered it was unique and hadn’t been heard since its broadcast – almost 60 years ago – I was amazed.

‘It’s extremely rare to unearth material this valuable in the archive. What makes it truly great is that it shows The Beatles on top form – playful and quick-witted – and captures them just before their first visit to America, which would turn out to be a pivotal moment in their career. Who knows what I will find next?’

The first five episodes of Eras: The Beatles have been released to BBC Sounds and the final episode will be available from 2pm on November 2 when the new track is released.

Long time coming: Titled Now and Then, the track was originally written by John Lennon and is based on a 1970s demo record  Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Star (pictured in 2016) have been working on for the last four decades

Long time coming: Titled Now and Then, the track was originally written by John Lennon and is based on a 1970s demo record  Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Star (pictured in 2016) have been working on for the last four decades

Huge history: The series will follow the history of The Beatles, from the start of their career to British Beatlemania, their arrival in the US, their break-up and solo careers (band in 1967)

Huge history: The series will follow the history of The Beatles, from the start of their career to British Beatlemania, their arrival in the US, their break-up and solo careers (band in 1967)

Musical discovery: BBC archivist Elliot Gibson, who found the Radio Newsreel report featuring the Beatles - unheard for almost 60 years - pictured at the BBC Archive Centre in Perivale

Musical discovery: BBC archivist Elliot Gibson, who found the Radio Newsreel report featuring the Beatles – unheard for almost 60 years – pictured at the BBC Archive Centre in Perivale

The last episode features a new interview with Paul and Ringo as they discuss the making of Now And Then and reflect on their lives.

It also features insight on the new track from John’s son with Yoko Ono, Sean Ono Lennon, George’s widow Olivia Harrison and The Hobbit trilogy director Peter Jackson.

Now And Then was one of several songs recorded by John shortly before his death in 1980.

Two of the other tracks – Free As A Bird and Real Love – were cleaned up by producer Jeff Lynne before being released in 1995 and 1996.

But he struggled to clean up Now And Then, and his attempt was deemed ‘rubbish’ by George, who refused to work on it.

However, artificial intelligence technology has given Paul a new way to revive the song once more.

With the help of AI, director Peter Jackson cleared those problems up by ‘separating’ John’s original vocals from a piano used in the late 1970s. 

‘There it was, John’s voice, crystal clear,’ Paul said in the announcement. ‘It’s quite emotional. And we all play on it, it’s a genuine Beatles recording. 

Coming soon: The first five episodes of Eras: The Beatles have been released to BBC Sounds and the final episode will be available on November 2 when the new track is released (band pictured in 1964)

Coming soon: The first five episodes of Eras: The Beatles have been released to BBC Sounds and the final episode will be available on November 2 when the new track is released (band pictured in 1964)

Onboard: With the improvements, George 'would have wholeheartedly' joined Paul and Ringo in completing the song now if he were still alive, George's widow has revealed (pictured 1992)

Onboard: With the improvements, George ‘would have wholeheartedly’ joined Paul and Ringo in completing the song now if he were still alive, George’s widow has revealed (pictured 1992) 

‘In 2023 to still be working on Beatles music, and about to release a new song the public haven’t heard, I think it’s quite an exciting thing.’

Meanwhile George’s widow, Olivia, said George felt in the 1990s that the technical problems made it impossible to release a song that met the band’s standards. 

With the improvements, ‘he would have wholeheartedly’ joined Paul and Ringo in completing the song now if he were still alive, she said.

The much clearer vocals allowed Paul and Ringo to complete the track last year, much to the excitement of The Beatles fans. 

News of the final song was announced earlier this summer, however it has now been confirmed that the track will premiere at 2pm on November 2. 

It will also be available on a newly-mastered version of the band’s Red and Blue album which is due for release on November 10. 

The new single contains guitar that George had recorded nearly three decades ago, a new drum part by Ringo, with Paul’s bass, piano and a slide guitar solo he added as a tribute to George, who died in 2001. 

Final one: In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Ringo said: 'This is the last track, ever, that you'll get the four Beatles on the track. John, Paul, George, and Ringo' (band in 1964)

Final one: In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Ringo said: ‘This is the last track, ever, that you’ll get the four Beatles on the track. John, Paul, George, and Ringo’ (band in 1964)

The two remaining members also sing backup on the track, while Paul also added a string arrangement written with the help of Giles Martin, son of the late Beatles producer George Martin.

As if that wasn’t enough, they weaved in backing vocals from the original Beatles recordings of Here, There and Everywhere, Eleanor Rigby’ and Because.

The surviving Beatles have skillfully released new projects, like remixes of their old albums that include studio outtakes and Peter’s Get Back film, usually timed to appeal to nostalgic fans around the holiday season, but have said this will be the last one.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Ringo said: ‘This is the last track, ever, that you’ll get the four Beatles on the track. John, Paul, George, and Ringo.’



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