Thursday 22 February 2018

Coe-Ovett battle set for big screen

Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett's rivalry will be dramatised
Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett's rivalry will be dramatised

Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett's rivalry is to be brought to life on film.

The pair enjoyed a domination of middle distance running three decades ago as they set world records and collected Olympic medals in one of the greatest sporting rivalries of modern times.

Now the BBC is working with AL Films, whose producers were behind the BBC One hit Small Island, to develop the movie.

Los Angeles-based British writer William Davies, who worked on hits such as Johnny English, Twins and Flushed Away, will write the screenplay.

It is to be based on the classic account of their rivalry, Pat Butcher's The Perfect Distance.

Producer Vicky Licorish said: "You were either an Ovett person or a Coe person and that's what makes it such a great character piece as well."

Her co-producer Joanna Anderson said: "Will is a fantastic writer who is a keen sportsman. He has been fired up by this story which means so much to a UK audience and is the British Olympic story which also gripped the US."

Christine Langan, creative director of BBC Films, said: "This is a gem of a story, about British sporting life and more. Will's take on it is very exhilarating."

Coe - now Lord Coe - is the London 2012 chair and the film is expected to be released before the next summer Olympics are staged.

Press Association

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