Sporting hero Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff is taking on what might be the biggest challenge of his entire career: he’s going to attempt to set up on one of the country’s most unlikely cricket teams.
On his roster: 11 talented teens from some of the most underprivileged parts of his native Lancashire. They have never played cricket before in their lives and probably haven’t even considered it, deeming cricket as the domain of the posh and the privileged. Freddie’s goal is simple: to prove that anyone can find camaraderie, confidence and success playing the sport he loves. Success is by no means guaranteed, but whatever happens, Freddie is setting out to change their lives and the future of the game he so adores.
Freddie says: “I made it to the highest level of cricket attending state schools on an estate in Preston, but I can’t see many others doing that now. The vast majority of the England’s men’s national cricket team attended private school. Cricket is more elitist per head than rugby, rowing and the House of Lords. We’ve got to do something to get young, working-class people playing our national summer sport again. I really hope this series can demonstrate that with some time and coaching anyone can learn to love cricket and have the opportunities that came my way.”
Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, History and Religion, says: “I am delighted to be working with Freddie and South Shore on what promises to be an interesting and unique series. I can’t wait to see what unfolds when one of our greatest sporting heroes, who has a genuine passion and commitment to bring change to youngsters’ lives, takes on this challenge.”
Freddie’s First Eleven (w/t), a 3×60’ series for BBC One and iPlayer, is produced by South Shore. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Director, Factual, Arts and Classical Music and Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, History and Religion. The Executive Producers are Andrew MacKenzie and Melanie Leach and the Series Producer is Naomi Templeton. The Commissioning Editor is Max Gogarty.