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Fox on the Box: Budd-ing channel gets off to flying start

WE WELCOME in a new channel today, with Sky Documentaries squeezing itself into the TV guides and schedules, and if the first few days are anything to go by it promises to become a favourite for sports fans.

The channel kicks off with a cracker in The Fall: Decker vs Budd [today, 2pm], the tale of all-American girl Mary Decker and ‘plastic Brit’ Zola Budd’s fateful coming together in the final of the women’s 3,000metres at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

This story is a gripping one. Budd was the bare-footed, South Africa-born athlete fast-tracked into the Great Britain squad whose much-anticipated showdown with Decker was to end with the latter carried from the stadium in tears and picking bits of track off her kneecaps. Both give their side of the story before being reunited some 30 years later.

Thursday follows with a fascinating and moving film looking at the career of legendary Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby. Filled with unseen footage and interviews with those who knew him Busby [Thurs, 9pm] is a classy portrait of a man who stamped a considerable legacy on a game that, for him, was one marked both by triumph and tragedy.

We wrap up the week with a look at boxing great Muhammad Ali and his remarkable appearances alongside American TV chat show host Dick Cavett in Ali & Cavett — The Tale of the Tapes [Fri, 9pm]. Anyone who remembers Ali in full flow on the Michael Parkinson show back in the day will know the one-time world heavyweight champion was a force to be reckoned with both in and out of the ring. Given the opportunity by friend Cavett to speak from the heart, Ali proves just why he was the ultimate showman.