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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Big Ron makes racism documentary
Ron Atkinson
Mr Atkinson will explore the use of the word
Former football pundit Ron Atkinson is to make a documentary about racism.

Atkinson resigned from ITV Sport after he made a racist comment about Chelsea player Marcel Desailly during a live TV broadcast in April this year.

Big Ron - Am I A Racist? will see the former Manchester United and Aston Villa boss travelling the UK examining race issues.

He will meet critics and supporters, including footballers and television presenters for the BBC programme.

'Have their say'

Documentary producer Petal Felix said: "Ron will be travelling the country canvassing opinion about the remark he made.

"Footballers and TV personalities who have worked with Ron over the years will also have their say."

Atkinson, who lives in Worcestershire and whose footballing career includes spells at West Bromwich Albion, Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday, also quit his weekly column in the Guardian after his outburst was accidentally broadcast in the Middle East.

The 65-year-old's comments were heard after Chelsea's Champions League defeat against Monaco on 22 April.

Atkinson, who has more than 40 years experience in football, believed his remark was off-air.

He later apologised to Desailly for making the remark in "a moment of stupidity" and insisted he was not a racist - citing the number of black players he had introduced while manager of West Bromwich Albion.

During his career as a pundit, he had provided summaries at five World Cups, six European Championships and many other major matches for ITV including Champions League and FA Cup finals.

He is understood to have turned down a recent approach to appear on the next series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!.

The documentary, from Welsh independent producer Aspect Television, begins filming next month and is due for broadcast in October.

Ban Atkinson for life, TUC says
23 Apr 04  |  Entertainment
Atkinson quits over racist slur
22 Apr 04  |  Entertainment
Profile: Ron Atkinson
22 Apr 04  |  UK

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