Last year, in a textbook case of insomnia-induced 5 a.m. online shopping, I purchased a t-shirt featuring an enormous screen print of Louis Theroux's face. There's a reason such an item was quite so easy to procure: Theroux is globally beloved, and it's not just down to his endearingly awkward delivery or 'Dad with a webcam' Twitter profile picture. The filmmaker is one of the most engaging, prolific, and critically acclaimed documentarians on the scene, so it's pretty darn exciting to hear about Louis Theroux's new documentary playlist on BBC iPlayer, featuring works that shaped his own films. Whether you're an aspiring documentary filmmaker, have exhausted every documentary on Netflix, or you're just plain devoted to Theroux, there's likely to be a film or two that's up your street.
"It is an absolute privilege to be part of sharing these wonderful, powerful documentaries," he told the BBC. "Each of them had an impact on me in a different way. They cover a range of styles — some vérité-driven, others told more through interview — but in all of them, you see life at its most raw, its most strange, and therefore its most human."
Included amongst Theroux's selection are Fourteen Days in May, a 1987 documentary following the last days of an American man facing the death sentence; Rain in My Heart (2006), a raw, candid insight into alcoholism; and Exposed: Magicians, Psychics & Frauds, a 2014 documentary about a debunker of the paranormal.
Don't bother checking the weather forecast this weekend, and tell your friends you won't be making it to the pub. You know where you're going to be: in front of your laptop, snacks in hand, marathoning every documentary on Theroux's playlist. Wondering where to start? Here's a little taster of your upcoming weekend viewing.