God Bless Ozzy Osbourne
Sunday, 8.30pm, ABC2 Before this documentary about the former lead singer of Black Sabbath begins, a banner comes across the screen: ‘‘ The makers of this movie spent more than two years on the road with Ozzy Osbourne.’’ Then there’s a pause. ‘‘ Nearly everyone survived.’’ Yes, a great sense of humour is at work here. A few minutes in and a newscaster declaims, in the terribly serious American voice we all know so well, that one of the greatest mysteries in life is why Osbourne is alive at all after decades of hard drinking and drug abuse. Though we mostly know him now as a bumbling personality on the chat show circuit, where more often than not he seems like a ventriloquist’s dummy with wife Sharon pulling the strings, could there be more to the guy best known for biting the heads off live doves and headlines such as ‘‘ The night I nearly killed my wife’’? Your first chance to find out comes at a surprise party thrown for Ozzy’s 60th birthday. ‘‘ It’s hard work being 60,’’ he says as Sharon fiddles with his shirt ruffle. Thankfully things move quickly back to the man’s childhood. Born in 1948, Osbourne grew up working-class poor in Birmingham, England, and had to share a bedroom with five siblings. There are interviews with the siblings, with former band members, and with Ozzy about his aimlessness until he found the fountain of youth in rock ’ n’ roll. There’s some concert footage, but more of Ozzy in lonely hotel rooms in the wee small hours of the morning, on the phone to Sharon.