As Olympic fever takes firm hold of the World, BBC Worldwide Channels will air an engaging drama that follows the unusual journeys of two British athletes from very different worlds, who come together to achieve gold during the 1948 Olympics. The 90-minute film is being broadcast as part of the London Calling season1 of BBC programmes, which celebrates the art, history and diversity of the UK’s capital city.
Going for Gold: the ’48 Games is a dramatization of the triumphant gold medal success attained at home by the British double sculls rowing team of Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell. Starring Matt Smith (Doctor Who) and written by William Ivory (Women in Love), the film presents the uplifting tale of two young men defying the odds and working together to win Olympic glory during an uncertain time in history.
Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell were teamed together a mere five weeks before the final of the double sculls rowing competition at their home Olympics. They couldn’t have been more different; Bert was the son of a boat builder and Dickie was educated at Eton and Oxford. However, they overcame the incongruities of their dissimilar backgrounds to work together at short notice to accomplish every athlete’s dream. They helped each other to break beyond the barriers their of physical and emotional limits to win Olympic glory.
During the film, the personal battle faced by these two athletes is also paralleled on a national stage as London prepared to host what was dubbed, “The Austerity Olympics” in the aftermath of the Second World War. Only three years after the war’s conclusion, London was still reeling from the destruction of the Blitz. Going for Gold: the ’48 Games shows how the British Olympic Committee fought to host the Games in a bid to reunite the country and revive national spirit.
Going for Gold: the ’48 Games and other Olympic-themed programmes like Twenty Twelve will get international viewers even more excited for watching the grand spectacle of the Olympics on TV when the big show is aired later this summer.
For more information about London Calling, please visit http://www.londoncallingbbc.com or your regional BBC website.
Notes to Editors
London Calling will air between May and August2 on BBC Entertainment (Africa, Poland, the Nordic Region, Asia, India, Latin America and the channel’s pan-European service3), BBC Knowledge (Africa, Poland, the Nordic Region, Italy, Asia and Australia), BBC HD (Latin America, Poland, The Nordic region and Turkey), UKTV (Australia and New Zealand) and BBC World News (global). The season will also be available to users of BBC.com and to users of the global BBC iPlayer but will vary territory by territory.
1 Programming, dates and times vary according to territory
2 Dates vary according to territory
3 BBC Entertainment’s pan-European service covers Central and Eastern Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and a number of Western European markets