The Rack Pack

Available exclusively on BBC iPlayer from 17 January at 9pm

Sunday 17 January

Time to be confirmed

BBC iPlayer's first ever comedy drama feature film stars Luke Treadaway (Fortitude, Clash Of The Titans), Will Merrick (About Time, Skins), Kevin Bishop (The Kevin Bishop Show, A Few Best Men), Nichola Burley (Death Comes To Pemberley, Downton Abbey) and James Bailey (Downton Abbey).

Directed by Brian Welsh (Glasgow Girls, Black Mirror) this comedy drama 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.

This rip-roaring romp through the snooker scene of 80s Britain is a celebration of the huge personalities of the time and an affectionate look at a gloriously nostalgic period of this very British sport.

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 UK, 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 this by bringing the party to BBC iPlayer.

The Rack Pack was ordered by Victoria Jaye, Head of TV Content for BBC iPlayer, and Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning, and is executive produced by Peter Holmes (Would I Lie To You?, Frankie Boyle's Election Autopsy). The film is made exclusively for BBC iPlayer by Zeppotron, part of Endemol Shine Group. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Gregor Sharp and the producer is Barney Reisz (Black Mirror).