ITV has commissioned two new football related documentaries from Collective Media Group.
The first, set to air on ITVBe, will have exclusive access to and tell the story of Emma Samuel, the widow of the ex-Premier League player Jlloyd Samuel.
With exclusive access to Jlloyd’s wife, Emma Samuel, and the people who had first-hand experience of the early Premier League era, the two-part documentary reveals the truth behind the story which has emerged since the player’s tragic death in 2018 when his Range Rover collided with a van and burst into flames, killing him instantly.
The film provides an insight into the world Jlloyd Samuel broke into as part of the first group of players to benefit from the big money TV deals that drove the ascendancy of the Premier League.
Portrayed from the perspective of his wife and real life WAG Emma, this film will reveal how – following Jlloyd’s 2018 death, she discovered not only that Jlloyd had seriously mismanaged his Premier League fortune, but also that he had a secret second life.
The Footballer, His Wife and The Crash details how Jlloyd’s footballing dream that started on the streets of Bow in East London, became a nightmare, as gambling debts, injury and family tensions came to the fore.
Elsewhere, The Football Fraudster (1x90), commissioned for ITVX, explores the story of Medi Abalimba, a former footballer who took on the identities of a Premier League star, rapper, MI6 agent and US Navy Seal.
His sophisticated web of lies conned multiple victims – breaking hearts, stealing millions and destroying lives. With access to those scammed, this feature documentary will tell the story from the victims’ perspective, revealing the lengths Abalimba went to in his elaborate cons.
Exclusive access to contributors such as ex-partner, Love Island’s Georgia Steel, who was also victim to his deceit, will aim to uncover not only how he was able to commit his crimes but also his motivations for doing so.
Claire McArdle, Co-ceo, Collective Media Group, says: “These are both remarkable and cautionary tales, and we would like to thank all who took part for sharing their experiences with us...
"Both are stories of our time – asking questions around how well we really know the people we build relationships with. I’m delighted that, in a short period of time, we have developed a reputation as the company who can get access to outstanding stories and world-class sporting talent.”
ITV's Satmohan Panesar said: “With the lives of the rich and famous mainlined into the consciousness of the public, these films go beyond the superficial glamour we see in our daily media diet...
"...and provide an insight into the human reality behind the scenes, revealing how the pressures of life in that world can lead to excessive behaviour, criminality and tragedy...
"These films will bring to ITV and ITVX the intimate perspective, inside access and dramatic human narrative that the best factual films can offer.”