Carl Frampton is one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic sporting figures. A history-making two-weight world champion, Frampton transcends social divides with his huge cross-community support and popular appeal, however few people knew much about him beyond the ring. We wanted to show the fans who Carl Frampton really was by giving them an insight into his world, ranging from being at home with the family and what it takes to be a champion. With this in mind thinkBeyond Talent sought out Ad Hoc Films given their experience in making sports documentaries, especially their recent success in boxing and football.
The relationship kicked off in early 2016 when Ad Hoc had access to the Frampton family that provided a fly-on-the-wall insight into the world of boxing and the hard work, skill and determination - not to mention family support - that goes into making a world champion. While the series highlighted the excitement and thrill of winning, it also showed the other side of boxing - the danger. Called The Fight Game, this series covered the momentous occasion when Carl beat the odds to make history as the first Northern Irishman to win a world title in two weight divisions. This wasn’t just a series about boxing; it shone a spotlight on the relationships and the blood, sweat and tears behind the brief moments the public see in the ring. It aired on BBC 1 in mainland UK and Northern Ireland in April 2017.
After the series came to an end in March 2017, the relationship was reignited in June 2018 when Ad Hoc Films had intimate and unrivalled access, that took viewers into the inner sanctum of ‘The Jackal’ during preparations for the career-defining moment in his life – a fight at his beloved Windsor Park.
But it was also about far more than boxing. Rather the sport, and in particular Carl's character, provide the perfect prism to view much broader issues, such as Protestant identity, tribalism, class, tradition and history, in a global 21st century Northern Ireland.
This was a film about a community and a country, told through Carl's own meteoric rise and return to the city that forged his steely resilience. The documentary aired on BBC 1 in mainland UK and Northern Ireland in September 2018.
"Ad Hoc Films have worked with Carl for a number of years now, most recently on the successful BBC documentary ‘Frampton: Return of the Jackal’. We have found Carl to be an absorbing and engaging subject and have always thoroughly enjoyed working with him in a variety of environments and capacities."