HE was one of the world's most charismatic rock stars who sold millions of records as the frontman of INXS. Tonight is the premiere of Mystify, an intimate documentary about the life and death of Michael Hutchence.


The documentary, which features footage from private home movies, as well as contributions from the late star’s family and friends, takes its name from a song co-written by Hutchence which featured on the Australian band’s 1987 album, Kick.

It’s the first showing here?

Written and directed by Australian filmmaker, Richard Lowenstein – who directed the band’s music videos – it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York earlier this year, but debuts in Britain tonight on BBC Two at 9.20pm.

It focuses on his personal life?

The enigmatic performer was well known worldwide, but became true tabloid fodder due to his high-profile relationships with supermodel Helena Christensen and pop star Kylie Minogue. It was his doomed love affair with Paula Yates, though, beginning while she was still married to Sir Bob Geldof, that put the couple under paparazzi siege and polarised tabloid readers, as a custody battle waged between Yates and her ex.

When did Hutchence die?

In 1997, at 37, he was found hanged in a Sydney hotel. The coroner ruled it was suicide while depressed and under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. A distraught Yates, who died of a heroin overdose in 2000, later claimed it may have resulted from auto-erotic asphyxiation, although the coroner said there was no evidence to substantiate this.

The film explores his life?

Co-produced by the BBC, it “portrays his life from the beginning of his fractured family background to the peaks of rock stardom and down into the depths after a freak accident in Copenhagen removed his sense of taste and smell and seriously affected his ability to deal with his unravelling personal and professional life”.

What accident?

While visiting Christensen in Copenhagen in 1992, Hutchence was cycling home when he refused to get out of the path of a taxi. The furious driver punched the star, whose head hit the kerb.

Christensen says in the film: “He was unconscious and there was blood coming out of his mouth and ear. I thought he was dead”, adding that a part of him did die that day, as his personality changed from "joyful, sweet, deep and emotional" to "dark and very angry".

And Kylie?

The then squeaky-clean pop star’s decision to break it off with Jason Donovan for the rock star shocked her fans, but she shares personal footage of their time together in the documentary, and speaks of his “insatiable curiosity” which encompassed “all of the good things in life and some of the bad things”. She added: “Sex, love, food, drugs, music, travel, books, you name it. Michael wanted to experience it. So as his partner, I got to experience a lot of that as well.”