Fremantle’s Danish production arm, Blu, has completed a deal with Danish broadcaster TV2 for its new sporting reality format Match Fit. The series will be produced locally by Blu. Originally commissioned by ITV in the UK, and locally known as Harry’s Heroes: The Full English, the series was created by Fremantle’s UK label Talkback and featured British football legend Harry Redknapp.
Match Fit will see a team of football legends whose waistlines have expanded since their glory days, take on the challenge of getting back into shape, back into their kit and back on the pitch to face a team of past rivals. The players are taken out of their comfort zone and thrown into a new regime – radical diet, cutting edge training and no-nonsense coach – with hilarious and heart-warming results. The series serves as a moving reminder that men can forget about their health as middle-age approaches, as we witness some insightful personal transformations along the way.
Throughout the journey, the group also rediscover the friendship and camaraderie that made their playing days so precious- for them and for us. Can this group of ex-professionals stick to the rigid training plan or revert to their familiar unhealthy lifestyles, or will they eventually be able to squeeze back into their old kits and beat their opponents?
In the UK, Harry’s Heroes: The Full English launched with impressive ratings. The two-part series attracted over 5 million viewers, half a million up on the timeslot average, and rated exceptionally strong amongst young viewers, winning the timeslot for 16-34s which was 42% above the slot average.
Anne Brostrøm, Director of Blu, said: “Following the winning performance of the UK version of Match Fit, we’re incredibly excited to bring Fremantle’s format to Denmark with our partners TV2. Watching these former professionals come together again is funny, warm and nostalgic to watch, with inspiring and sometimes life-changing results. We can’t wait to see these Danish football legends take on the challenge!”
Jes Schrøder, Commisioning Editor at TV2, said: “For us, it was love at first sight with Match Fit; nostalgia meets modern-day reality television. Taking old heroes and giving them one last chance on the pitch is such a brilliant concept; audiences will love the show’s humour and energy, but they will also see the stories showing the downside of fame, as well as the reality of middle age and slipping away from the limelight. Ultimately, Match Fit is a bittersweet tale of football, fun, families and friendship. As the Germans put it: Alles ist Fussball.”