The BBC is joining the list of worldwide streaming properties who are creating full-length projects exclusively for their service. On January 17th, the BBC iPlayer debuts THE RACK PACK, a feature film that explores the glory days of the 70s and 80s snooker scene, when huge characters became household names and Snooker Loopy troubled the pop charts. The film is written by Shaun Pye, Mark Chappell and Alan Connor, the team behind A YOUNG DOCTOR'S NOTEBOOK.
The story tells of the rivalry between Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins (Luke Treadaway) - whose natural talent and showmanship transformed the image of the traditional game and captivated audiences across the country - and Steve ‘The Nugget’ Davis (Will Merrick), who under the guidance of manager Barry Hearn (Kevin Bishop) dominated the sport throughout the 80s and ushered in a new era of professionalism. Nichola Burley plays Alex’s wife Lynn Higgins, and James Bailey takes on the role of the greatest player never to be World Champion, Jimmy White.
While this would seem to be an odd choice, it's important to remember that for a brief moment, the snooker scene in the U.K. was red hot. In 1985, the climax of the world snooker final broadcast on the BBC in the early hours of a Monday morning was watched by 18.5 million people in the U.K., which remains a record for a post-midnight audience for any channel in the country. This year is the 30th anniversary of that final and THE RACK PACK celebrates snooker's moment in the limelight.