Madness: Before We Was We – How to watch the new documentary series about the British music legends on AMC

The story of Suggs and the Nutty Boys is coming exclusively to BT TV in a three-part series which traces the incredible rise of the ska legends and recalls their unforgettable hits.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 30 April 2021 - 11.53am

"Don't watch that, watch this!”

British pop royalty Madness are coming to AMC for a new three-part documentary series, Before We Was We: Madness by Madness.

Adapted from the band’s critically acclaimed biography, the 60-minute episodes will look back at the band’s musical legacy through interviews with band members past and present.

Their 40-year career began at a time of cultural and political upheaval in the 1970s and the docuseries offers a captivating insight into a post-war Britain and how it has changed beyond recognition alongside the band’s inevitable rise to the top of the charts.

The series is AMC UK’s second original production, following the success of An Accidental Studio, which told the story of ground-breaking British film studio, George Harrison’s HandMade Films. 

First look at Madness documentary Before We Was We AMC

When does the Madness documentary Before We Was We start?

Before We Was We: Madness by Madness starts on May 1 at 9pm on AMC.

All three episodes will be available to stream for BT TV customers on the BT Player.

How to watch episode 1 of Before We Was We for free

Watch Before We Was We episode 1 for free on BT’s YouTube Channel.

Set a reminder on the YouTube Channel so you can watch the premiere live with fellow Madness fans.

Subscribe to BT TV to watch all three episodes.

Listen to the Before We Was soundtrack

Featuring classic Madness, hidden gems and tracks from the band's heroes and influences, such as Ian Dury and Roxy Music, the Spotify Playlist for episode 1 is live now.

How to watch AMC

AMC is available in the UK exclusively on BT TV.

Find out more about BT TV packages

BT TV customers can watch AMC on channel 332/381 HD.

You can also catch up on episodes you miss on the BT Player.

And if you want to watch shows on the move or on your tablet and phone, download the BT TV app.

AMC is the UK home of TV series including smash hit Fear the Walking Dead, anthology series The Terror, travel documentary Ride with Norman Reedus and Pierce Brosnan’s The Son.

Get half-price BT TV for six months

Our TV packages are flexible so you can swap them if  you fancy a change. VIP, Big Entertainment and Entertainment packages include a NOW Entertainment Membership.

What is Before We Was We: Madness by Madness about?

The docuseries traces the humble beginnings of the band that would go on to set the record for the biggest audience ever for the BBC’s Live New Year’s Eve Broadcast – the most watched TV music event of 2018 - and perform on top of Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.

Looking back at his career, Suggs said “I don’t remember ever thinking about whether it was going to last. You see this polished Madness that's been going for years and people would think, ‘course you knew’. But I didn’t have a clue. I wasn’t taking it the slightest bit serious.

“That’s why I got thrown out of the band at the start, because I just thought it was a laugh and just something to do - hanging out with pretty cool geezers. The idea that I was ever going to make a career out of it was totally beyond my comprehension.”

Madness larking about at the start of their career Getty

Siena Pakington, BT and EE  Content Director, said: “Madness are an iconic British band with a huge dedicated following, so we’re delighted to be bringing this doc-series exclusively to our BT TV customers.

"Today’s announcement, alongside our wider offering and flexible TV packages, demonstrates how BT TV is the destination for customers wanting easy access to the best TV, film and sport content.”

Who are Madness?

Madness have had 10 UK top 10 albums, 15 top 10 singles and have won a multitude of awards including a prestigious Ivor Novello. And the story isn’t over yet.

Their list of unforgettable hit singles includes One Step Beyond, Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love and the UK number one House of Fun.

Part of the 2 Tone ska revival scene of the late 70s and early 90s, the group spent a record 214 weeks in the charts in the 1980s.

Madness performing at Glastonbury festival in 2009 Getty

Hit West End musical Our House was inspired by their music and the group have continued releasing albums and playing festivals including Reading and Leeds, and delivered memorable performances to gigantic crowds at Glastonbury.

Band members past and present including Chris Foreman, Mike ‘Barso’ Barson, Lee ‘Thommo’ Thompson, Graham ‘Suggs’ McPherson, Daniel ‘Woody’ Woodgate, Mark ‘Bedders’ Bedford and Carl ‘Chas Smash’ Smyth will appear in the documentary series regaling stories from their 40-year career together as Madness

Watch Before We Was We: Madness by Madness on May 1, exclusively on AMC and BT TV.

Get half-price BT TV for six months

Our TV packages are flexible so you can swap them if  you fancy a change. VIP, Big Entertainment and Entertainment packages include a NOW Entertainment Membership.