It’s officially the end of an era after it was announced that Sky One is being axed.
The channel has been part of our lives for nearly 40 years but is now being replaced by two new channels: Sky Showcase and Sky Max – as part of a major revamp.
“Sky One means many things to many people and we didn’t want to change what it meant, we kind of felt we wanted to go into this new direction,” Sky’s Director of Programmes for UK & Ireland Jamie Morris told Radio Times.
Channel 106 on the Sky box will not be the same but we’re grateful that it brought us so many childhood memories.
Though the channel did do a lot of replaying episodes of The Simpsons, it aired two fantastic football-based reality TV shows: Football’s Next Star and Wayne Rooney’s Street Striker.
Both aired on Sunday evenings and adopted a similar premise in the sense that they were talent shows where unsigned footballers could strut their stuff in the hope of landing a big opportunity.
‘Street Striker’, partnered with Coke Zero was the first show to make the air in November 2008. It featured Rooney in some very baggy and questionable jeans, Andy Ansah blurting out “UNBELIEVABLE TEKKERS!” and a series of skilful challenges in Manchester locations such as swimming baths, skate parks and canals.
Participants had to touch footballs dropped down from flats, dribble around tyres and pass the ball into empty bins. It made for great viewing, especially when Rooney put his Total 90’s on and got involved.
The inaugural winner Travis Beckford, a 16-year-old from West London, earned a trip to a football training camp in Brazil and attended trials with Leeds United.
Not too long after Rooney’s show had finished, Jamie Redknapp was fronting the next reality football show and it proved to be a huge hit.
7,000 applicants were gunning to become the next big thing and secure a professional contract with Inter Milan.
Players were tested in all aspects across the seven episodes. Living in a Lake Como villa was all well and good but would they get on with their fellow footballers?
It was utterly fascinating TV and a series that we really hope ends up on Netflix in the near future with the news that Sky One is no more.
After impressing in first-team training, Ben Greenhalgh was crowned ‘Football’s Next Star’ and received the Inter shirt and contract from manager Jose Mourinho.
It didn’t quite happen for the winger in Milan though and he’s since turned out for Inverness, Maidstone United, Concord Rangers, Dartford and Margate.
Sky One may have died but these elite shows will live on forever.