Ex Home Secretary Alan Johnson goes in search of the life he thought he nearly had: as a rock star.

In the 1960s Alan Johnson was in a band ("The Area") that cut a single but couldn't get it released.

He gave music up for a career that took him from Postman to Union Leader to The Cabinet.

So what has he missed out on? Does the fame of being a senior government minister compare in any way with that of being in a successful band.

In this series he meets five people who tasted the fame he craved.

Each of the warm and engaging interviews reveal something different about life in music and the truth behind the myths.

In Episode one Alan meets The Merseybeats, contemporaries of The Area who achieved everything Alan dreamed of, and 45 years later are still touring with the same hits.
Has the life gone stale or become tired? Is it really a career that could have sustained someone for all that time?
Alan meets The Merseybeats, contemporaries of his band in the 1960s.
022010072620110531In Episode two Alan meets Chris Spedding - a guitarist who has played with many of the biggest names in rock but who, except for one top ten hit, has nearly always managed to avoid the limelight himself.
He was on Top of The Pops - but sometimes hidden inside a Womble outfit.
Alan and Chris discuss what the rock and roll life is like when you're not that famous.
Alan meets Chris Spedding, a guitarist who has mostly managed to avoid the limelight.
032010080220110601In Episode three Alan meets Amelia Fletcher - singer with a number of successful indie bands in the eighties and nineties.
She's still in a band today, whilst simultaneously holding down a serious office job - as chief economist with the Office of Fair Trading.
Amelia and Alan talk about the joys and perils of combining the rock life with a demanding job.
Did Alan make a mistake by thinking the two don't mix?
Alan meets Amelia Fletcher, singer with several successful indie bands in the 80s and 90s.
042010080920110602In Episode four Alan meets Jackie Abbott who, for seven years, was the lead singer in The Beautiful South, having a string of massive hits and touring the world.
Alan discovers that Jackie's story is remarkable.
She was never seeking the life of a singer, she was working in a shop when she was picked up andput straight into an already successful band.
After ten years she gave it all up as quickly as she accepted it.
Could it be that Alan's ambitions were misinformed?
Alan Johnson meets Jackie Abbott, ex-singer in The Beautiful South.
05 LAST2010081620110603In the final episode Alan takes his only copy of The Area's crackly 7 inch single to a state-of-the art modern studio to get the verdict of Roxy Music guitarist, and now studio owner, Phil Manzanera.
Alan learns how the industry has changed since he tried his luck and gets an informed opinion on the quality of his music from Phil and Phil's engineer who just happens to be Alan's son Jamie.
Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera explains how the industry has changed.
Alan learns from Phil Manzanera how the industry has changed since he tried his luck.