BBC Factual has commissioned Linford (w/t), a “no-holds barred” 90 minute film for BBC One on Olympic champion Linford Christie.

The doc will have “unfettered access” to Christie as he talks exclusively about the highs and lows of a glittering athletics career, from the glory of winning Olympic gold to the impact of failing a drugs test after coming out of retirement for one last race.

Linford Christie said “I was born to run and regardless of whatever obstacles they threw in my way, it never stopped my belief. I was never the fastest, I just made everyone else believe that I was. I never focussed on the last race, always on the next one, which is why this documentary has been something completely different for me as it has made me reflect on all aspects of my career.”

Simon Young, Head of Commissioning, History, said “In the late 80s and 90s Linford Christie was Britain’s most famous and fêted athlete. His career isn’t just a fascinating window into the pressures of sporting success, but an insight into an era when casual objectification and racism were unbound. That uncomfortable history – and the fact that he has chosen to break his silence after 20 years – makes this documentary a unique exploration of a sporting icon and his legacy.”

In the 1990s, Linford Christie was a major household name. The only British man to win successive golds at the Olympic Games, World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games. He won 24 medals in a highly decorated decade of dominance, retired in 1997 and then, in 1999, he briefly came out of retirement to settle a bet with the athletes he was coaching and tested positive for nandrolone.

“Now for the first time, Linford is daring himself to confront the past and consider his legacy. His journey has been far from plain sailing. Linford suffered harassment by the police and sexual objectification by the media, in an era of unchecked racism and tabloid power.”

Linford (w/t), a 1×90‘ for BBC One and iPlayer, is made by Story Films. It was commissioned by Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual. The Executive Producers are Peter Beard, Pamela Gordon and Adam Hopkins, the Director is Kwabena Oppong and the Producer is Marian Edusei. The Commissioning Editor is Simon Young, Head of Commissioning, History.

Linford (w/t) is set to air later this summer on BBC One and iPlayer.

Photo Credit: Jon Nicholson

Jon Creamer

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