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BBC-1: Continents spanning matches for David Beckham

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David Beckham continues his quest to become the new Michael Palin with a journey that will take him around the world to play seven soccer matches in all of the world’s seven continents.

England’s most capped outfield player will show the incredible global appeal of football, joining local communities from all walks of life who play the beautiful game in some of the most challenging, remote and extreme locations on the planet.

The film, jointly commissioned by BBC Worldwide and the BBC from 7 Games and Big Earth Productions, follows the footballing icon on a journey to the villages of Papua New Guinea, the foothills of Nepal, the streets of Buenos Aires, the desert plains of Djibouti to the elevated pitches of Miami and frozen wastelands of Antarctica.

In this 1×90 film, David’s ambitious challenge and journey across the continents promises to showcase a rich and varied tapestry of characters, all linked together by one game, seeking to discover what the game means across the globe and how it has the power to transform lives as it did for him. Beyond the pitch, he will explore the lives of those who struggle to make a living in environments that present a daily challenge as well as those who get to live the dream when they make it to the big leagues. The journey ends where it all began for Beckham at Old Trafford, where he plays his final game with a host of internationally renowned footballing legends who he played for and against in his illustrious career.

David Beckham says: “I remember sitting on a plane and discussing this idea with friends and never thinking it would become a reality. I’m genuinely excited now we can realise this ambitious idea. Whether as a player or out in the field for UNICEF and other charitable partners, I have seen the transformational effect that sport and in particular football has on people’s lives. This epic journey will allow me to show the positive side of the game I love and shine a light on the passion and selflessness of people that play this sport as a force for good.”

Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, says: “David Beckham returns to BBC One for a special film following his long held personal ambition to play seven games of football in every continent around the world, from Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Chile to Antarctica. David has set himself the challenge to highlight how the beautiful game can be a transformational force for good in the way it changes lives and brings communities together amongst some of the most isolated and vulnerable people in the world.”

Suzanne McKenna, Commercial Director of Factual Content at BBC Worldwide, says: “David Beckham has an incredible ability to connect with people globally through his love of football, and we’re thrilled to work with him again on this unique and inspiring event. From the remotest corners of the Earth to its great metropolises, football has the power to bring people together and this shared passion will resonate with audiences everywhere.”

David will journey into the heart of the countries. Often travelling through difficult and sometimes dangerous terrains to get to the pitches, he will meet the locals and play a seven-a-side or 11-a-side game with two teams drawn from the local community. Matches will be played in locations from the vast, unexplored jungle of Papua New Guinea to the frozen lands of Antarctica – the first time a match has been played there.

Commissioned for the BBC by Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, and Maxine Watson, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, ‘Beckham: For The Love Of The Game’ is made by 7 Games and Big Earth Productions and will be distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide.

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