BBC Two has today confirmed it will air Finding Jack Charlton, a feature length documentary filmed during the last 18 months of the late sporting hero’s life.
The film, which is produced by Noah Media Group (Bobby Robson: More Than A Manager, The Edge, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans) and a co-commission with Virgin Media Ireland, will have a cinematic release later this year and will air on BBC Two in 2021.
Directed by Gabriel Clarke (Bobby Robson: More Than A Manager; Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans) and Pete Thomas (Take His Legs), Finding Jack Charlton is a portrait of an extraordinary man: an English World Cup-winning legend, who became an Irish hero. Shot on location in Ireland and England, the film also details Jack’s previously undocumented life with dementia. This contemporary narrative forms a central theme of the story, offering an intimate, compelling insight into Jack the man and the challenge faced by thousands of families universally.
The documentary features key characters from throughout Jack’s career, with contributions from Jack’s family for the first time, including his wife Pat and son John. They are supported by major figures in football, music, film and politics, enabling the exploration of the major pillars of Jack’s life: Jack and England, Jack and Ireland, and Jack and his brother, Sir Bobby Charlton.
Significantly, Jack’s family have given access to detailed, hand-written notes that Jack made and kept safe throughout his career. These personal thoughts are an intimate window into Jack’s managerial philosophy and offer a new level of understanding into Finding Jack.
Multiple sources of revealing, unseen archive footage have also been uncovered, captured behind the scenes with Jack and the Ireland team during the World Cup in 1990 and on the road to their qualification for the 1994 World Cup in the USA.
Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two, says: “I am so delighted that this documentary will be coming to BBC Two. Jack Charlton was a giant of a man, a footballer of legendary achievements and a manager who helped transform a nation. This is a very special film, giving intimate access to Jack and his family in his last year, exploring the journey and impact of his extraordinary life.”
Co-directors, Gabriel Clarke and Pete Thomas, say: “Jack Charlton led a fascinating life on so many levels and his achievement in football is unique. To be able to tell his story against the background of the final year of his life, when he faced perhaps his greatest challenge, enabled us to frame his incredible career from a whole new perspective. It was a privilege to work with his family and to make a film that became so much more than we expected”
Finding Jack Charlton was commissioned for the BBC by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two and Mandy Chang, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries. The film is produced by Noah Media Group’s John McKenna and Torquil Jones. Former Republic of Ireland captain Andy Townsend is among the film’s Executive Producers.