The documentary ‘Why the United Kingdom Should Stop watching the World, the Best Sports documentary’ has been the most successful British documentary in history, and will now be screened on the BBC for the first time in its current form.
The film was made in collaboration with the BBC, and is now available for download.
Its title, ‘Why The United States should Stop Watching, the Most Popular Sports Documentary’, is a nod to the fact that the US is home to the best sports documentary, the one that has become the greatest sporting phenomenon in the world.
The documentary’s producer, Peter Beech, who has produced many of the best documentaries in the UK, said he was honoured to have been asked to produce it.’
It’s really gratifying to have had the chance to do this,’ he told New Scientist.’
I’ve had this idea that I wanted to do a documentary about the UK for 20 years.
I just thought it would be a good opportunity to start it.’
Beech said he wanted to make the documentary for two reasons: to make it relevant and to help the UK ‘learn about sports’ more broadly.’
We’re a country of sports people and I think that it would help to have some people in that country who understand sport and why it’s important to them,’ he said.’
The UK is in the middle of the biggest sports experiment in the history of the world.’
The programme has won numerous awards including the Independent Film Award and a Peabody Award for best documentary, and was nominated for the 2014 Independent Spirit Award.
Beech has also worked on the programme with former US President Jimmy Carter, who was filmed in the documentary.’
In this case I thought we were going to do something about the sport, but I was surprised that we weren’t doing it at the moment.
I think we’ve had a little bit of a crisis,’ said Beech.’
So, I think the idea that the United kingdom would be the first country to have the first sports documentary was a little premature.’
What was really interesting was that people said it would take five years to get the documentary finished, which I thought was crazy.’
A lot of people would love to see that happen.’
To me, it’s the most important documentary in the United states.’
The BBC made a decision in 2013 to pull the plug on its documentary team, and in 2016 Beech and co-producer James McWilliams quit their jobs to concentrate on the documentary itself.’
At the time, I thought that this was a really big thing for the country, and I wanted the BBC to make an impact,’ he explained.’
When we left, we knew that this would be huge, and that we were about to get a lot of media attention.’
But it wasn’t going to happen, because the BBC had decided to go in a different direction.’
The documentary was also delayed by the death of former president Jimmy Carter.’
People thought it was a joke, and some people thought it could be a bit more serious,’ he recalled.
‘But we’re not going to make a joke out of it.
It’s just a big celebration of the life of the late president.’
The film is available on Amazon Prime Video for £8.99 and will be screened in cinemas and on-demand from November 10.