Amy Winehouse documentary 2021: when is ‘Reclaiming Amy’ on BBC, and when did the ‘Back to Black’ singer die?

Ahead of the release of the new documentary to mark the 10th anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s death, her mother has defended her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil

Amy Winehouse performing during the 46664 concert in celebration of Nelson Mandela's life at Hyde Park on 27 June 2008  (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Amy Winehouse performing during the 46664 concert in celebration of Nelson Mandela's life at Hyde Park on 27 June 2008 (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the death of iconic English singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse.

Over the course of her career, Winehouse bagged a number of high profile awards and nominations, including winning Best Female Solo Artist at the 2007 Brit Awards and five Grammys in 2008.

Commemorating 10 years since her death, the BBC will be releasing a new documentary on the singer, featuring appearances from close friends and family.

This is what you need to know.

What is Reclaiming Amy?

Reclaiming Amy is a new 2021 documentary from the BBC which will explore the Rehab singer's life, and how her death impacted those around her.

The BBC said: “Amy’s mother Janis, who has never spoken in depth before, wants to reclaim the legacy of her daughter, celebrating Amy as the complex, strong and incredible woman she was and giving a different version of events from the story of the singer so often told.

“With access to never-before-seen family archives and rare musical performances, this highly personal and powerful account of the life and death of one of Britain’s best-loved musicians offers a new interpretation of her life, her loves and her legacy.”

Speaking to Radio Times, Winehouse’s step-brother Michael explained why he decided to take part in the film.

He said: “We were like Topsy and Tim. Amy and I shared a cot, shared a bath, first day at school, holidays.

“She’s literally my oldest friend. Funny and energetic and self-willed, didn’t take prisoners, knew what she wanted.”

He said that he agreed to appear in the documentary because he “wanted to talk about mental health” and also so that his children “would know their Auntie Amy, not just from unfortunate pictures”.

He added: “I wish I’d known what I know now, been the person I am now. All the guilt and grief of losing her contributed to that understanding, but if only I’d have the competence and knowledge.

“She might just have told me to eff off. I’d seen it happen to others, she shut them out… I suppose I was afraid of losing her.”

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What did Winehouse’s mother say about Blake Fielder-Civil?

Blake Fielder-Civil, who was married to Winehouse from 2007 to 2009, faced significant criticisms after the singer’s death, as he admitted to introducing Winehouse to heroin.

Speaking to OK! Magazine, Janis defended Fielder-Civil, saying: “When it comes to Blake, I’ve decided never to speak badly about anyone.

“I know it was about love and I don’t think you can judge when it comes to love. Love does the walking and talking.

“I believe the relationship between Amy and Blake was intimate and genuine. Their marriage was impulsive but it was still pure.

“It was obviously a complicated relationship but love was at the heart of it.”

Following her daughter’s death, Janis said that the media were “looking for someone to blame”.

She continued: “She chose her own patch. We have suffered from the trolls and the damaging speculation - accusations that Mitch [Winehouse’s father] just wants to make money off of his daughter, that we killed her, that we could have done more. It’s completely wrong.

“The same thing happened after Caroline Flack died - everyone was looking for someone to blame.

“But addiction is a mental illness and that is the true villain in this story. I’ve studied addiction and I understand that now.”

We want to hear from you: let us know what you think about this story and be part of the debate in our comments section below

When is Reclaiming Amy on TV?

Reclaiming Amy will be aired on BBC Two on Friday 23 July.

It has been confirmed that it will begin at 9pm, and will be an hour long, so will end at 10pm.

After it’s been broadcast on TV, the documentary will be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer for those who missed it airing live.

When did Amy Winehouse die?

Winehouse passed away on July 23 2011. She was found dead by paramedics in her flat in Camden, north London, with the official cause of death citing alcohol poisoning.

A secondary inquest into the singer’s death was held after it was discovered that the original coroner, Suzanne Greenaway, did not have the correct qualifications for the role.

The second inquest into the singer's death confirmed the findings of the first one, stating that she died from alcohol poisoning.

The hearing was told that Winehouse had over five times the legal drink-drive limit in her system when she passed, with 416mg of alcohol per decilitre in her blood.

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