BBC One has announced the green light for a captivating feature documentary titled ABBA: Against The Odds, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the iconic Eurovision win by ABBA. Set against the backdrop of Sweden, where the contest will once again take place, this documentary promises to delve into the remarkable journey of one of the world’s most beloved bands.

Helmed by the esteemed Rogan Productions, known for their acclaimed work on projects like “Freddie Mercury: The Final Act,” and directed by BAFTA and Emmy Award-winner James Rogan, the film is slated to be a sweeping narrative chronicling ABBA’s rise to global fame during their pivotal years, encapsulated between the albums “Arrival” (1976) and “Super Trouper” (1980).

Scheduled for release on BBC One and iPlayer this May, the documentary is a collaborative effort among European broadcasters, including BBC, ARD/WDR, France Télévisions, SVT, and DR. It promises to unveil never-before-seen footage, exclusive images, and untold stories, offering viewers an intimate glimpse into the personal and professional struggles faced by ABBA during their meteoric ascent to stardom.

With unprecedented access to archival materials from SVT, the Swedish public television, the documentary is set to unveil rare insights into ABBA’s journey, showcasing their triumphs and tribulations against a backdrop of intense scrutiny and criticism in their homeland. The film aims to capture the essence of ABBA’s legacy, portraying the band’s enduring impact on the global music scene.

Michael Jochnowitz, BBC Commissioning Editor, Factual Entertainment & Events says: “ABBA: Against All Odds is a truly special documentary, formed by a unique collaboration of broadcasters about one of the world’s greatest ever bands…And if you thought you knew the story behind the music, think again.”

James Rogan, Director, Rogan Productions said: “To be able, as a director, to dive into the ABBA story through the extraordinary archive of their voyage through the tumultuous 70s has been a jaw-dropping experience. The sheer joy of working on a documentary about ABBA cannot be understated, as their bitter-sweet songs remain as resonant in our confused times as they did when they were first recorded. This film will capture the scale of the challenge they faced as a Swedish band gaining success and respect on the global stage, and how the unique combination of four talents produced music that defined the decade and changed pop music forever.”

Tom Young, Head of Indie Partnerships, Factual at BBC Studios said: “ABBA are a truly international phenomenon, and we are honoured to be working with Rogan Productions on what will be another global hit with our clients, following on from highly successful collaboration on Freddie Mercury: The Final Act, both a commercial and critical hit.”

Axel Arno, Head of Documentaries, SVT said: “The documentary will be a celebration of not only the iconic music of ABBA but also the power of storytelling to unite us across Europe. In times of division, this documentary serves as a reminder of our shared cultural heritage and the vital role it plays in fostering unity and cohesion across the continent.”

Anders Bruus, Commissioning Editor, DR said: “ABBA’s timeless appeal transcends borders, languages, and generations, proving that storytelling, art and music are universal languages that can bring us together, even in challenging times.”

Christiane Hinz, Head of Documentaries, ARD/WDR said: “ARD/WDR is thrilled to be part of this epic broadcasting and platform event that will unite different generations of European audiences in front of their screens. ABBA has shaped the sound of Europe and of course also in Germany this pop myth is kept alive till today. Younger people know the songs, now they will discover the story behind them. ABBA – twelve points! Europe – twelve points!”

Caroline Behar, Head of International Coproductions, Factual, France Télévisions said: “As the historical broadcaster of the Eurovision song contest, France Télévisions is proud to be part of the project ABBA: Against All Odds. We are honoured to celebrate ABBA’s unique talent, and get closer to the women and men behind the iconic band. We are convinced that ABBA’s commitments still resonate today within the young generation.”

“ABBA: Against the Odds” has been commissioned for BBC One and iPlayer by Catherine Catton, Head of Commissioning, Factual Entertainment and Events. The documentary is produced by Rogan Productions and directed by James Rogan, with notable credits including “Freddie Mercury: The Final Act” and “Monty Python: The Meaning of Live.” Executive producers Jan Younghusband and Soleta Rogan are spearheading the project, ensuring its international appeal.

BBC Studios will handle the international distribution of the documentary, with plans to showcase the programme at the BBC Studios Showcase in London. Further details regarding transmission dates will be announced in due course, promising audiences an immersive journey into the captivating world of ABBA.