Long-running weekly sports show Trans World Sport is to make its return to Channel 4 in January 2014 after a five-year absence from the network.
The world’s longest continuing international television sports programme will be broadcast in its traditional Saturday morning slot on Channel 4, before The Morning Line, running from 7.00am to 8.00am each week.
The show’s official social media sites confirmed the news, tweeting on December 21: “Good news for our UK viewers, @TransWorldSport will be making a return to @Channel4 as from Saturday, January 11th.”
Once a mainstay of Channel 4’s fabled Saturday morning sports line-up, Trans World Sport is best known for featuring a wide range of sportsaction from around the globe, including reports from the biggest international competitions, in-depth features on lesser-known sports and profiles of rising stars of the future.
From features on rising stars and legends such as Usain Bolt, Serena Williams and Michael Phelps, to following more unusual activities like Bow and Arrow Darts from Papua New Guinea and Snowball Fighting from Japan, Trans World Sport is the complete programme for international sports fans.
Produced by IMG Media, the production company responsible for Channel 4’s horse racing coverage, the show is currently broadcast in over 50 countries with a household reach of nearly 200 million.
Narrated as ever by the familiar voices of Bruce Hammal and Sue Carpenter, Trans World Sport was broadcast every week by Channel 4 from its inception in 1987, but the show disappeared from its schedules in 2009, ending its 22-year run on terrestrial television.
The programme marked its 25th anniversary in 2012 and has always endeavoured to bring not only the top names and events, but also the off-beat and esoteric stories from the world of sport.
Charles Balchin, executive producer for IMG, said: “Trans World Sport is something of an iconic program, with a unique formula that has stood the test of time.
“Channel 4 has always felt like the spiritual home for the show and we are delighted that their viewers can once again see our very special and eclectic mix of superstars and future champions featured alongside our famous series looking at indigenous sports around the world.”
The brainchild of IMG founder and sports marketing pioneer Mark McCormack, who wanted to create a sports show with a broad international appeal, Trans World Sport launched in May 1987 and has been in continuous production every week ever since.
The first show was narrated by Gerald Sinstadt. In the early nineties, after a succession of different narrators, the show settled on its two current narrators, Bruce Hammal and Sue Carpenter.
It has featured a number of top international stars before they were made famous for their sporting exploits during its long and established run.
Trans World Sport has covered hundreds of different sports and filmed with a countless number of World and Olympic champions.
Out of the 203 IOC member nations, the programme been on-location at to 183 of them, including North Korea, remote highlands of Papua New Guinea and in 2012 they even filmed in Somalia.
The first edition of Trans World Sport back on Channel 4 will be shown on Saturday, January 11, at 7.00am and feature British Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock.
In addition, the show heads off to Canada to tell the story of ice hockey trailblazer Herb Carnegie, who died in 2012 aged 92, and takes a look at the traditional Malawian sport of Bawo.
Plus, the show’s series on Winter Olympics greats features German bobsleigh legend Andre Lange, who was the world’s most successful bobsleigh pilot.
Finally, in Mexico, the show explores how long-distance running is helping to unite the indigenous communities of Chihuahua.
Trans World Sport will be repeated at various times on Channel 4 and Channel 4 HD on Sunday mornings and Tuesday nights, and will also be available online and on-demand via Channel 4’s catch-up service 4OD.