Press Centre

The Motorsport Mavericks

  • Episode: 

    2 of 4

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 07 Apr 2016
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    10.00pm - 11.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 14 2016 : Sat 02 Apr - Fri 08 Apr
  • Channel: 

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The Motorsport Mavericks
"There is a difference to most sports, maybe in the way drivers are wired - slightly insane... They like to go to the outer edge and dance around, and then come back. Sometimes it doesn't happen." - former F1 driver Mark Blundell
This new four-part sports documentary series for ITV4 focuses on uniquely gifted sportsmen whose antics made them icons.
The four Mavericks programmes focus on snooker, motorsport, boxing and darts, following ITV4’s Football Mavericks series last year.
From Alex Higgins to Ronnie O’Sullivan, from James Hunt to Jason Plato, from Prince Naseem to Tyson Fury, and from Eric Bristow to Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, this series features those individuals whose exceptional skill has sometimes been overshadowed by their lifestyles and personalities.
It weaves together contributions from some of those sportsmen - including Jimmy White and Ronnie O’Sullivan, Prince Naseem Hamed and Barry McGuigan, Matt Neal and Bobby George with the views of their rivals, promoters and fans alongside archive footage to paint a unique portrait of those who dare to be different.
The series also looks at the wider implications of their careers - from the impact of boxing on politics to the development of darts into arguably the ultimate maverick sport.
The second programme, Motorsport Mavericks, explores the death-defying world of those who race cars and motorcycles for a living. The nature of motorsport means it nurtures mavericks – but some ride closer to the edge than others.
Focusing on colourful characters from the 1960s and 1970s, the programme follows the capers of motorcycle world champion Barry Sheene, whose exuberance and charisma meant he quickly became a cult figure and went on to be one of the most well-known men in Britain during his prime - partly for his drinking, smoking and carousing.
It also looks at the career and life of Grand Prix world champion James Hunt, whose legendary socialising and womanising made him almost as famous for his off-track exploits as those behind the wheel.
Riders and drivers aren’t the only mavericks whose achievements are profiled in the programme. Team owner Colin Chapman, whose Lotus team won Formula One championships throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, introduced numerous innovations to the sport, from monocoque chassis to aerodynamics.
The programme also looks at a different type of daredevil - TT motorcycle road racers who risk their lives around the Isle of Man street circuit. Among the most famous are the men in the Dunlop dynasty, including legendary TT champion Joey and his brother Robert, whose sons William and Michael currently race.
And while some view the halcyon days of touring cars as the early 1990s, the series now features big characters like Jason Plato and Matt Neal, who reflect on a racing rivalry which goes back two decades and features more bent bumpers and broken wing mirrors than they would care to mention.
Paying tribute to the mavericks are a host of names from the world of motorsport, including racers and commentators such as Steve Parrish, Steve Plater, Mark Blundell and James Allen.