Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King may introduce a new audience to the heavyweight enigma, on terrestrial television
Timing really is everything. Beginning this Thursday, just nine days before his rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury will be the subject of a three-part documentary, covering his last three fights, broadcast on terrestrial channel ITV at primetime, 9pm to be precise.
Offering “Exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to one of sports most flamboyant and controversial characters,” alongside “unprecedented insight”, Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King was filmed over several months and covers the build-up to the traveller’s 2019 fights with Tom Schwarz and Otto Walling, as well as his camp for the Wilder return, one that has seen him relocate to Las Vegas under a new trainer in SugarHill Steward.
Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King was commissioned by Kate Teckman, Head of Development Factual Entertainment, and Sue Murphy, Head of Factual Entertainment, at ITV.
Teckman said: ‘’This is a unique opportunity to gain an insight into this enigmatic figure whose battles inside and outside the ring have made him one of the most talked about people in popular culture. With unprecedented access, this series aims to offer a full picture of Tyson Fury and his background that is sure to pin viewers to the ropes.’’
The show promises to feature not only Fury’s form in the gym, but also his family life with wife Paris and their five children, and his ongoing battle with mental health issues.
"I always knew I was unwell," Fury reveals in the documentary. "But I always put it to the back of my mind because I had a job to do. My job was to become heavyweight champion of the world so you put all your eggs in one basket and you’ve an addictive personality, it’s all or nothing in everything you do and you’ve achieved your dream and there’s no further you can go in your career. That was Everest and that’s it – it all came crashing down.”
Fury’s mood fell further after failing a drugs test in 2016.
"I woke up wanting to die on a daily basis, I didn’t want to live anymore because I was het up by depression so that’s as low as you can go. You’re looking at the man who has everything, acclaim, glory, fame, many achievements, a family and everything that goes with it, the trimmings, the gravy and still he isn’t happy. We’re made to believe success is happiness, but that’s very untrue.
“One day I woke up and thought, ’Today’s the day I end it all. I was heading towards this bridge, I was going to smash the car into the bridge at very high speed, I just didn’t have the ambition to live anymore. Before I got to the bridge I heard a voice saying, ’Don’t do this, you’re going to destroy your family’s life,’ and I immediately pulled the car over and that was the first time I thought, ’Right, now or never. I need to get well immediately.’”
As someone who has covered Fury’s life and times for over a decade, I am looking forward to seeing the way in which he comes across and is subsequently perceived. Furthermore, this series could offer a few clues towards how Fury will approach his second match with Wilder and the outcome.
Brand new three-part series Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King starts on Thursday at 9pm on ITV.