Series Packs a Real Punch

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24 HOURS: MY MUM'S A KNOCKOUT (Central, 7.30pm)

THE third and final regional documentary in this latest series puts Central on a hat-trick.

For the last two years, the sporting contribution to the 24 Hours' run has won a Royal Television Society sports documentary award.

Who knows, but if this one is entered, it could win the team another one!

Much will depend on the strength of the opposition - despite the huge boom in TV sport there is still an untapped goldmine of good sports documentary stories out there just waiting to be tapped into.

Especially as in the sporting world, fact is often more impressive than fiction.

Who would believe, when you see her walking down the street, that Midland civil servant and single mother of two Cheryl Robertson would be a world champion boxer, for example.

When she's got her hair down, the Sandwell Council personnel officer bears a vague resemblance to Liz McDonald, the Coronation Street firebrand.

Dedication

In the ring, though, she packs a punch which husband Jim McDonald would be proud of.

24 Hours discovers how Cheryl combines a dedication to competing in one of the toughest sports with her work and caring for two small children.

It also takes us backstage in the mist-covered Atlantic City - one of the great gambling centres in the US.

One of seven children - the 'fights' she had at home toughened her up - Cheryl began boxing three years ago after winning more than 20 trophies in martial arts.

Her trainer is former British light heavyweight champion Tony Wilson, whose only previous experience of women in the ring was when his mother barged through the ropes when she felt he was being racially abused during a fight.

Even though he disagrees on a personal level with women taking part in what can be a violent sport, Tony still took on Cheryl's training programme.

Over in Atlantic City itsel where Cheryl fights on a bill which includes 39 other women boxers, the fans rave about women's boxing.

They love the fact that the battlers don't pull their pull their punches or try to spend half of the fight hanging on to their opponents' necks for a rest.

Gripping stuff - with an appropriately non-sentimental ending.

Another detective on the horizon

MAISIE RAINE

(BBC1, 9.30pm)

Another week, another new TV detective, this time in the shape of Birds Of A Feather star Pauline Quirke - fast becoming one of the nation's favourite alounders after having launched her career as a child actor in Dixon Of Dock Green. …