New BBC documentary to capture unique journeys of five chasing wrestling dreams
- Credit: BBC
The journeys of a quintet of people who have gone from grappling with personal challenges to pursuing careers in professional wrestling have been captured for a BBC documentary.
Step Into The Ring, which premieres on BBC Three on Sunday evening, follows the blossoming careers of five Norfolk people as they chase dreams of wrestling under the tutelage of Zak Bevis.
Each of the five have varying circumstances that could be perceived as a barrier to getting into the rough and tumble career. James Chilvers, 22, lost his sight as a child, 31-year-old ‘Pocket’ is battling PTSD, 22-year-old Marcus Nelson is autistic, James Chilvers, also, 22, has Down’s Syndrome, and 28-year-old Imogen Obery is a university graduate who has turned her back on a conventional career for a more exciting journey.
And the documentary follows each one as they learn the trade under the guidance of Mr Bevis, of the Knight Family, for who teaching became a passion following a devastating career setback of his own.
The series, which will also be broadcast on BBC One next month, was the brain child of BBC Radio Norfolk’s Rob Butler, who came up with it while working with the World Association of Wrestling as a referee.
Mr Butler said: “I’ve known Zak and his family for quite a while and we’ve become good friends over the years. It’s well known that he missed out on his own dream while watching his own sister achieve it - we’ve all seen the film and how it captured it was true to how it happened.
“Working with them I saw how much helping others chased their dreams has come to mean to Zak and helping him through his own setbacks and thought to myself ‘there’s a story in here’.”
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After pitching the idea, it was eventually picked up by BBC England and the four-part series was produced over four months in late 2019, with BAFTA-winning director Heenan Bhatti at the helm.
Mr Butler added: “While wrestling is the packaging for it, it is not a series just about professional wrestling. It is about these six inspirational people who have come together through shared dreams and the extraordinary lives they lead.
“It also showcases different places around Norfolk on the national screen. I’ve done a lot in my 12 years in broadcasting, I’ve seen Norwich at Wembley, but this is the best thing I’ve ever done - I’m so proud.”