ITV today announced a bumper week of special, bespoke programming in the run up to the 10th anniversary match of Soccer Aid for UNICEF – which will broadcast live and exclusive on ITV and STV, and the ITV Hub, on 4 September 2021.
ITV has supersized its Soccer Aid offering this year with two brand new original commissions and a host of celebrity specials of viewers favourite shows – all in aid of raising awareness and funds for global children’s charity UNICEF.
Lee Mack’s Road to Soccer Aid follows Lee’s hilarious journey to get match fit, improve his technique and banish his footballing demons in the hope that he will score at Manchester City’s Eithad Stadium on the 4 September. After three penalty misses in three consecutive Soccer Aid matches, Lee has his work cut out and has decided to pull up his socks and pull out all the stops to make Soccer Aid 2021 his year. Along the way Lee meets some famous friends, experts and sporting legends to help him achieve his dream.
This warm, charming and funny 60 minute special, produced by Initial, will also explore how children around the world have benefitted from the generosity of the Soccer Aid audience as Lee finds out more about the lives that have been changed by the extraordinary work of UNICEF. He’ll also be asking his famous friends to sponsor him along the way, which results in a few unexpected challenges for Lee.
Included in this Soccer Aid week, and announced last month, is 90 minute special On Yer Bike for Soccer Aid – hosted by presenter and cricketing icon Freddie Flintoff. He will be joined on screen by cycling legend Sir Bradley Wiggins as the eight celebrities take to the saddle for this epic cycling challenge. Split into two teams of four, England versus the World, they will go head to head over three epic cycling legs, all set in the gorgeous and dramatic backdrop of rural Yorkshire
ITV viewers will also get to see some of their favourite famous faces take part in ITV’s most iconic and much loved game shows. With celebrities taking part in special episodes of The Cube, Tenable, Tipping Point, The Chase and Catchphrase, all in aid of raising life-saving funds for Soccer Aid for UNICEF. These episodes will air in Soccer Aid Week and names will be announced shortly.
And that’s not all; ITV’s This Morning, Loose Women, Martin and Roman Weekend Best and James Martin’s Saturday Morning are all supporting this years campaign with special programming and guests to raise awareness for the fantastic cause.
Soccer Aid for UNICEF is the biggest celebrity football match in the world, with the aim to raise as much money as possible to give children the best start in life. Players this year include Usain Bolt, Olly Murs, Mark Wright, Paddy McGuinness, Sir Mo Farah, Ore Oduba, Joel Dommett, Liv Cooke, Roman Kemp and Chunkz. Longstanding host and UNICEF UK Ambassador Dermot O’Leary returns and will be joined by new touchline reporter Alex Scott and pundit Maya Jama.
The line-up is further strengthened by whole host of football stars including Wayne Rooney, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Kelly Smith, Roberto Carlos, Patrice Evra, David James, Emile Heskey and Jamie Redknapp. Harry Redknapp returns as Manager of the Soccer Aid World XI FC, while Micah Richards and David Seaman join the England coaching team with the Sven-Goran Eriksson as England Manager.
David Beckham, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and sporting icon will also be in attendance and will present the trophy to the winning team on the night.
Since 2006 – when UNICEF UK Ambassador Robbie Williams co-founded the concept – Soccer Aid for UNICEF has raised over £47m to help give children all over the world a happy, healthy childhood full of play. Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2020 raised a record breaking £9.3 million and, with the support of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021 is hoping to raise more money than ever with every donation and the value of every ticket sale doubled, up to £6.3 million.