Hero to Zero (partially found BBC One children's football drama show; 2000)

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Logo for the show.

Status: Partially Found

Hero to Zero was a six-part BBC One children's drama show. Broadcast weekly from 23rd February to 29th March 2000, it starred Huw Proctor as Charlie Brice, a ten-year-old boy who goes on adventures and gets advice in handling football and family-related challenges from English footballer Michael Owen.


Written by former Crystal Palace footballer John Salthouse, Hero to Zero was a television adaptation of a radio play of the same name, which starred English footballer Gary Lineker.[1][2] Salthouse stated he approached Owen to star on the show as himself, as a survey of children indicated he was the clear favourite among sportsmen of the era.[1] The television show marked Owen's debut acting role, the then-Liverpool striker starring alongside fellow acting novice Procter.[1] In an interview with The Times, Owen stated that while he and Procter suffered from nerves, they successfully overcame it during filming and developed a good friendship.[1] Owen also praised Procter as being a better actor than him, while also complementing his footballing skills.[1] Filming commenced in August 1999, with the six episodes airing weekly from 23rd February to 29th March 2000.[3][1]


The show's premise involved Charlie Brice's struggles with his parents' divorce in the opening episode, in addition to problems at school and conflicts with his father regarding his dreams of becoming a top footballer.[3][4][1] After discussing his issues with a poster of Michael Owen in his bedroom, believing he is responsible for his parents splitting up.[4][1] He is surprised and delighted when his hero somehow exits the poster and into Brice's world, who is able to reassure him the divorce is not his fault, with the pair also going on imaginary adventures.[4][1][3] Episode 2 showcases further tensions between Brice and his father Jimmy, which boiled down to the latter refusing to allow his son to play for top local club Hope Rangers.[5] Nevertheless, by the start of Episode 3, Brice is allowed to start his first trials for the team, with him receiving key advice from Owen.[6]

In Episode 4, Hope Rangers lose a key clash.[7] Episodes 4 and 5 explore more issues between Charlie and his father, as Jimmy coaches the club only to be sacked in Episode 5.[8][7] Owen provides comfort and reassurance for Brice as his family again fractures following a parental row.[8] Episode 6 concludes the series, with Jimmy reinstated as Hope Rangers' manager, and Charlie watching his hero during one of Liverpool's fixtures.[9]


Ultimately, Hero to Zero received few reruns. The BBC Genome archive of Radio Times issues indicates that the series was last repeated on BBC television from late-May to early-June.[10] The lack of reruns, combined with no home media release, has resulted in all six episodes becoming lost media.[11] As of the present day, the only available media from show consists of the opening titles and a few screenshots.[1]



The show's opening titles.


See Also