Jackie Stewart doc exclusively on Sky & NOW
December 6, 2022
By Colin Mann
Described as an immersive and powerfully emotive documentary, Stewart is set to debut on Sky Documentaries and OTT service NOW on December Friday 30th. The film, looking at the life and career of the three-time Formula One World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart, is said to transcend motor sport and explores universal themes of love, loss and human vulnerability.
“When I first saw this film, I was literally lost for words… It took me completely by surprise,” admitted Stewart. “Of course, I knew they were making it, but it all happened during lockdown, and I had no idea of what it would be like. Watching it now, I find it exhilarating, in parts uncomfortable, and at times almost unbearably emotional. For my darling wife Helen and me it brings back incredibly vivid memories of people and places from long ago. In a way I’m the last person to ask about this (film), as it’s so personal. But if anyone wants to know what Formula 1 was like fifty years ago, they should watch this film.”
Known for more than just his stellar driving career, Jackie Stewart is familiar to millions as a TV sports anchor, team owner, and a successful businessman. Until now, Stewart’s personal story has not been told. With exclusive access to an unseen personal archive, Stewart is an evocative and emotionally charged cinematic film.
Using restored archive film, Stewart, chronicles Sir Jackie’s humble beginnings outside Glasgow, the early years of his marriage to Helen and the rush of excitement that heralded his first F1 World Championship title in 1969. But underneath all this success, was a secret that haunted him throughout his career: his inability to read and write.
The documentary charts his most exhilarating Grand Prix races in Monaco, Silverstone, Monza and Mexico, looking at how he set out to improve racing safety. As the documentary draws to a climax, the final chapter focuses on the ‘73 season. Told through archive, it shows Stewart’s friendship with his teammate, François Cevert and as racing fatalities increase, why Stewart made the decision to retire from the sport at the end of the year, with Cevert his natural successor. Fate, however, had other plans, and the documentary reaches its moving climax at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.
The feature-length documentary was written and directed by Patrick Mark (Fabergé: A Life of Its Own), produced by Sarah Bayntun and Gareth Dodds (Spitfire, Armstrong) and executive produced by Jackie’s son, Mark Stewart (The Last Man on the Moon, Gazza) for MSP. Also executive-producing are Bill Pohlad (American Utopia, 12 Years a Slave) and Jean-Marc Huët.
“I’m delighted that Sky will be showing Stewart,” declared Mark Stewart. “They have done so much within Formula 1 and I know they appreciate the amazing history of the sport, as well as the exciting spectacle it is today. I hope many people get to enjoy the film. For MSP to make a film about Jackie Stewart was always going to be complicated by the fact that he’s my father. So we – the Stewart family – agreed to step back from the editorial side, leaving the production team free to tell the story in their own way. We also opened the door my parents’ archives and collections… so Stewart is objective, but also deeply personal and emotionally powerful. For me it goes beyond the world of motorsport and touches on bigger themes of ambition, love and loss…I hope our audience will agree.”