Twenty years ago, the 2002 World Cup in Japan was on the horizon and a sense of excitement gripped the nation. But England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson was preoccupied with domestic matters, as he faced claims that he was playing away with fellow Swede and former television weather girl Ulrika Jonsson.
The sport and showbiz world were stunned when Piers Morgan’s Daily Mirror broke the story in the Spring of 2002, just five weeks before the much-anticipated World Cup competition.
Front page headlines and an article in the paper’s 3am gossip column revealed how Sven and Ulrika had been engaging in a secret romance, while the England coach prepared for the most prestigious football tournament in the world. He also happened to be dating unsuspecting girlfriend, Italian lawyer Nancy Dell’Olio.
The news story snowballed, playing out not only across the notoriously cutthroat pages of the British tabloids, but also the broadsheets. Even television news programmes gave it significant coverage. It left showbiz fans all agog, and football fans fearing it could risk England’s World Cup chances for glory.
But why and how did the England coach’s private life become such a scandalous and sensational story?
Through interviews and archive, this 60’ documentary takes us on a nostalgic romp through a celebrity sex scandal that stunned the nation. From those who were close to the story at the time, we hear juicy details of events, explore the unlikely pairing of the Swedish couple, and discover the surprising inside story of the subsequent media frenzy.
Firecracker is responsible for some of the highest rating and most talked about factual television programmes of the last decade.
From the BAFTA-nominated international smash hit Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, to the visually arresting Daredevils series, Firecracker has produced some of the most ground-breaking, popular factual programmes on television today.
Whatever the platform, Firecracker prides itself on telling authentic human stories and offering new and often never-before-seen perspectives, coupled with its trademark bold and stylish approach to film making, to create talked about content that is loved by audiences around the globe.
Firecracker’s unique story-telling has seen the company work with a wide range of broadcasters both in the UK and the US, including the BBC, Channel 4, W, ABC, Discovery, TLC and National Geographic.
Other credits include Born in the Wrong Body, Daredevils, Repo Man, Sex Testers, Baby Ballroom and Dr Christian Will See You Now and single documentaries such as Susan Boyle: Unlikely Superstar, Secrets of the Living Dolls, The Man With The Ten Stone Testicles, The Brit Who Tried To Kill Trump and Jamie: Drag Queen At Sixteen – the documentary which inspired the hit West End musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.