Most people wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Ozzy Osbourne was once arrested for relieving himself on The Alamo while wearing a green evening gown. Discovering that actor Martin Sheen – currently playing U.S. President Josiah Bartlet on the drama series The West Wing – has been arrested more than 60 times on charges of civil disobedience, however, is bound to pique the interest of a celebrity-obsessed public.
Stars Behind Bars is a one-hour one-off from London’s Unique Productions, and the latest program to originate from London-based RDF International‘s new coproduction unit, launched in 2003. The stories featured range from director Quentin Tarantino being thrown in jail for owing the city of Los Angeles us$7,000 in parking fines, to punk rocker Sid Vicious’ blasé confession after murdering his fiancee in 1978: ‘I did it because I’m a dirty dog,’ he told New York police. The dirty laundry of Martha Stewart as well as U.S. President George W. Bush, will also be aired. Mug shots, eye-witness accounts, archive footage and interviews with the stars will help tell the tales.
Commissioned by U.K.-based Five‘s news and current affairs department, Stars Behind Bars has a budget of £177,000 ($325,000), and has been pre-sold to Biography in the U.K., Australia’s Channel 10 and M6 in France. Stars delivers this summer, with RDF International handling distribution. KB