On a day when news filtered out that Sky Sports is pulling the plug on its long running weekly Tight Lines show presented by Keith Arthur, BBC has given the sport a boost with the announcement that the national broadcaster is filming a new series starring Ben Fogle alongside Matt Hayes.
The pair are to cast their eyes over a team of talented anglers challenged to fish their way around the world, in the series that currently has the working title The Big Fish. They will travel across four continents over six episodes with the results shown on BBC Two.
Fogle said: “I used to fish with my grandfather as a child and have happy memories of fishing as a boy. I may not be an expert but I can completely understand the obsession. Fishing takes you to places in nature that you would never normally go.
“I’m really thrilled to be a part of the series to see how these fantastic fishermen get on in some really tough places, learning to fish the way the locals do and facing some pretty extreme water around the world. We will be immersed in the countries we are staying in, and will hopefully come face to face with some phenomenal fish.”
Matt Hayes said: “Working with the BBC is a dream come true and I’m looking forward to teaming up with my co-presenter Ben Fogle and the vastly experienced crew on the show. It’s going to be as much of a learning curve and an adventure for me as it will for those bidding to become our first ever champion angler. My role is that of judge and angling expert as a group of fishermen complete tasks in destinations around the world. It’s a series about angling skills, travel, local culture and exciting challenges. It takes fishing into the homes of millions of people and I’m thrilled to be working alongside such a professional, talented crew.”
The show will be broadcast later this year.
Speaking about the Sky Sports move, Tight Lines’ Andy Ford said simply: “So the news is out. Tight Lines will be no more after Fisho. Gutted doesn’t cover it.”
It is not yet clear if the decision will affect the long running Fish ‘O’ Mania series which has always enjoyed live broadcasting of the final from Sky Sports, with Tight Lines covering the qualifying rounds.