Mention superstars to any bloke over the age of 30 and a glazed look will appear in his eyes, he will say “ Ahh Superstars” as per the Bisto ad, and will then begin to reminisce. Kevin Keegan falling off a bike and the skin of his back hanging in chunks while he bravely battles on, David Hemery tripping over the last hurdle in the steeplechase, and getting up to complete the race in second, despite a fractured ankle, and Keith Fielding sticking it to the Yanks in their own back yard, despite the best attempts of the local judges to scupper him. Now if you're sitting there saying “Who on earth are Keegan, Hemery and Fielding when they're at home?” then this DVD will have little to please you. But if you remember these moments with the fondness that I do you should grab yourself a slice of nostalgia and spend a couple of enjoyable hours with the rose coloured spectacles dialled in to the 70's and 80's.
There has been a trend on TV over the last couple of years to produce shows along the lines of “The Football Years” or “Remember the 80's”. These shows pander to the thirty-something generation. Sparking long forgotten memories, both of the show itself, and also of your life at the time. Watching it again made me realise what a fabulous idea it was. Take a group of sporting superstars, all champions in their own fields, and pit them against one another in a series of sporting endeavours ranging from shooting and cycling to the infamous gym tests. The natural competitiveness of the sportsmen involved, and their desire to represent their sports as well as themselves made it a tremendously compelling watch. The sight of Jonah Barrington, a moustachioed squash player doing squat thrusts till his legs turned to jelly, or James Hunt, the F1 racing driver, trying to clean and jerk a barbell despite having arms like pipe cleaners, are indelibly burned on my brain.
This DVD cuts interviews with most of the great names from the series with actual footage of them in action. The interviews deal with the recollections these famous sportsmen had of particular competitions or incidents, along with the thoughts of David Vine, one of the shows original presenters. The clips include all the most exciting, amusing or dramatic moments from the series, for example the day Malcolm McDonald (then the England striker), ran 11 seconds dead to win the 100m, only to be told a false start had occurred and he would have to run again. Did he moan and complain? No, he simply took his marks 5 minutes later and won the race again, this time in 10.9 seconds. The interviews include such gems as the origin of the concept for the show. A conversation between Vine, Eddie Waring, a rugby league commentator, and Don Revie the Leeds and England manager, who said that he felt Billy Bremner was the fittest sportsman in Britain, and started the germ of an idea. The idea to pit sportsman against each other soon followed. Interestingly Bremner never took part, apparently his legs were considered too valuable.
I loved this DVD and if you are over the age of 30 I think you will too.
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