30-minute documentary is first TV production from Jams & Mr B., founded by Jason Mohammad and Nathan Blake
Clive Sullivan: Rugby League Legend will premiere on BBC Wales and BBC iPlayer on Wednesday 12 October at 10.40pm.
The 30-minute documentary on Sullivan, who was the first black man to captain Great Britain in any sport, is the first TV production from Jams & Mr B. - which was founded by TV and radio presenter Jason Mohammad and ex-footballer and TV presenter Nathan Blake earlier this year. It was co-produced with Cardiff Productions.
The pair spoke to the Broadcast Sport Podcast about the company, and its aim nurture underrepresented talent, in May - you can listen to the episode here.
Produced and directed by Eric Haynes, who has worked on numerous BBC projects during his 30+ years in the industry, Clive Sullivan: Rugby League Legend sees Blake set out to uncover the incredible story of one of Wales’s greatest sporting heroes - one who many Welsh people don’t know of. You can watch the trailer below.
As well as being the first black man to captain Great Britain in any sport, Sullivan paved the way for black British athletes and broke sporting records which still stand today - most tries in a career and most tries in a match, both for Hull FC. He was also the first (and only) player to lift the Challenge Cup for both Hull FC and Hull KR. Today, the Rugby League World Cup ball has been christened ‘the Sully’ in his honour.
Blake visits Sullivan’s hometown, Cardiff, as well as goin north to Hull to speak to an array of ex-FC and KR stars, including Mike Smith and Keith Tindall, as well as attend the Clive Sullivan Cup derby, where fans of both teams speak about Clive’s enduring legacy.
Blake said: “Immense pride and pleasure in creating and presenting the programme. It’s something I’ve felt should have been done many moons ago, but to be the one at the forefront of the documentary kind of brings it full circle. Big thanks to BBC Wales for commissioning the idea - I feel truly blessed.“
Mohammad added: “When Nathan and I set up our production company Jams and MrB we always said that we’d make a very big impact with our first film. And so it’s proved to be. It’s been a delight working alongside Cardiff Productions, very good friends of ours, and we have created a film that shows what an incredible sportsman Clive Sullivan was - a trailblazer.
“Huge thanks to our commissioners Nick Andrews, Sorelle Neil and Julian Carey - they’ve been there every step of the way. We’ll be making more impactful films like this in the coming years - with several projects already in development.”
Clive Sullivan: Rugby League Legend airs ahead of the Rugby League World Cup, which is being hosted in the UK and broadcast by the BBC from 15 October - 19 November. You can read more about the broadcaster’s plan to air all 61 matches here.
Video/Images: BBC Wales