Knowing me Steve Coogan, playing you Eddie the Eagle
Britain's most famous sporting loser is set to get the big screen treatment
We love a sporting loser in Britain. From Tim Henman to Jimmy White to the entire England football team, failure only seems to make our hearts grow fonder, so it comes as no surprise to hear that one of the greatest sporting losers of our time is about to have his pitiful efforts celebrated on the big screen.
Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards, the part-time plasterer whose failure at the 1988 Winter Olympics turned him into a national hero, is to receive the biopic treatment, with none other than Steve Coogan playing the frankly rubbish ski-jumper.
The ultimate underdog story, Eddie’s gold medal bid seemed doomed from the start, as not only was he far-sighted (meaning he had to wear thick glasses under his goggles), but he was also afraid of heights.
In spite of such shortcomings, and with little or no support from the British sporting establishment, ‘Eddie’ (real name Michael) nevertheless qualified for the Calgary games, only to come last in both the 70m and 90m events.
He returned a sporting hero however, appearing in adverts and on talk shows and even cutting a top 50 record in the shape of the execrable ‘Fly Eddie Fly’ (the thought of which makes my ears bleed to this very day).
Declan Lowney, whose previous TV credits include 'Father Ted' and 'Little Britain', will direct the comedy, and he has this to say on the subject: ‘Eddie the Eagle achieved hero status by turning conventional aspirations on their head. He became the people’s champion through his determination to achieve his mad dreams. This human emotion will strike a chord with audiences everywhere.’
Adding his two cents' worth, Coogan said ‘I’m very excited at the prospect of playing Eddie Edwards. His story is a very British story and he is a very British kind of hero. Although he never brought home a medal he succeeded on a very personal, human level. He may not have impressed the Olympic judges but he won the hearts and minds of people round the world.'
'Eddie the Eagle' is set to shoot in January, and we’ll leave the final word on the subject to the great man himself: ‘It’s brilliant’ the Eagle apparently told Variety.
Author: Chris Tilly
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