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ITV commissions ‘stranger than fiction’ football docs from Collective Media

Emma Samuel in The Footballer, His Wife and The Crash

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has commissioned a pair of ‘stranger than fiction’ documentaries with football at their heart, from newly formed UK factual indie Collective Media Group.

The Footballer, His Wife and The Crash centres on Emma Samuel, wife of former Aston Villa star Jlloyd Samuel who was killed in 2018 in a dramatic road accident.

The film provides am 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. Against the glamorous backdrop of WAG culture, young players entered the game unprepared and ill-advised on how to handle their wealth.

The film will reveal how, following Jlloyd’s 2018 death, Emma discovered not only that her husband had seriously mismanaged his Premier League fortune, but also that he had a secret second life.

The Football Fraudster (1×90’), meanwhile, 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.

With access to those scammed, this feature documentary tells the story from the victims’ perspective, revealing the lengths Abalimba went to in his elaborate cons.

The Footballer, His Wife and The Crash and The Football Fraudster were both commissioned for ITV and its soon-to-launch streamer ITVX by factual commissioning editor Satmohan Panesar.

Both will be distributed internationally by Abacus Media Rights

Collective Media Group was launched in September last year by former ViacomCBS International senior execs Claire McArdle and Rebecca Knight.


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