This weekend Sunday Night has Muhammad Ali and the Zinka Virius.
n the Presence of The Greatest
It was one of Mike Willesee’s biggest risks and it yielded one of his biggest rewards. In 1975, as heavyweights Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier prepared for their ultimate showdown in the Thriller in Manila, Willesee flew to the Philippines on spec to try to secure an interview with the man who’d become arguably the most celebrated sports figure in history. Once he’d cajoled himself past the minders, Willesee was told he’d have a couple of minutes with The Greatest. Instead he got three hours one-on-one and an access-all-areas pass to Ali’s backroom antics and scalding training sessions. The result is one of the most extraordinary profiles of Ali ever assembled. Dressed in a bathrobe and lying down on his hotel sofa, Ali spars and swings and ducks and weaves with Willesee through a range of incendiary topics – race, money, religion, sex and death. And unsurprisingly he speaks his mind. Now, as the world mourns the death of Ali, Sunday Night presents this phenomenal encounter with him, the story behind the story and Willesee’s contemporary reflections on what made the champion such an inspirational and important figure. It is a profoundly revealing portrait of a monumental man.
It is one of the most disturbing and perplexing health crises the world has seen. The mosquito-borne Zika virus has swept across Brazil and brought hundreds upon hundreds of malformed babies and distressed parents. It’s prompted the World Health Organization to declare an international emergency and shaken the planning of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as sports people and spectators worry about the implications of Zika. Now as the countdown to Rio 2016 begins in earnest, some secret Australian know-how is being trained against the virus and the results are extremely promising. Sunday Night’s Denham Hitchcock joins the Australia-led effort in Brazil to eliminate Zika with Aussie mozzies and ingenious science. He meets expectant mums anxiously awaiting their test results and others lovingly caring for their babies stricken with microcephaly – the disfiguring and debilitating birth defect caused by Zika. Can the team conquer Zika in time as the world arrives for Rio 2016?
Sunday at 8.20pm on Seven.