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Norwich hosts return of World of Sport Wrestling after a 30-year hiatus

PUBLISHED: 12:52 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 19:29 10 May 2018

ITV Creative Director for the north Tom McLennan

ITV Creative Director for the north Tom McLennan

ITV

It delighted viewers up and down the country and made stars of top-name wrestlers such as Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks and Mick McManus.

And now Norwich is playing a key role in a popular wrestling show’s return to our television screens after a 30-year hiatus.

The new 10-part series of World of Sport Wrestling, which began recording on Thursday and is followed by tapings on Friday and Saturday, is being filmed at Norwich’s Epic Studios, in Magdalen Street.

And the return is a sweet homecoming for one Norfolk native Tom McLennan, who as northern creative director for ITV Studios Entertainment has helped bring the show to the fine city.

Mr McLennan, who grew up in Thorpe St Andrew, said: “I was the last person to work on big TV shows in Magdalen Street and I have always been very keen to bring them back to Norwich.

“It’s also great to work around here and see the runners and technical crew who are from the local area.

“Norwich has a long history of producing TV and hopefully this is the first of many shows we do here, as we have been incredibly impressed with Epic Studios.”

The show will add to Mr McLennan’s already lengthy resume, which also includes Judge Rinder, Countdown, University Challenge and You’ve Been Framed.

Professional wrestling will face a challenge in upheaving more established sports like football on ITV’s roster, but Mr McLennan is confident his show will rival the entertainment content put out by other free-to-air channels.

He said: “This is more of an entertainment show. We are not going to keep up with football but we’re going to take on other entertainment shows - nobody else is doing anything quite like we are.

“There was a lot of nostalgia about wrestling back in the day and it’s also something that really is a family programme.

“When the slot came available a few years ago, it was a real no-brainer.”

Saturday’s recording is already sold out but Friday’s matinee showing will have a limited number of tickets available on the day on a first-come, first-serve basis.

WOS Wrestling was scheduled to return to TV in 2017 but contractual issues scuppered a deal.


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