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Animal Planet kicks off 'Taking On Tyson' from 6 June

26 May 2011
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MUMBAI: Animal Planet will kick off the show, Taking On Tyson, on 6 June.

The show will air every night from 6-19 June at 9 pm

The show looks at former boxer Mike Tyson's love of pigeons. These birds have been an integral part of his life from his childhood. In fact, Mike threw his first punch when a neighbourhood bully killed one of his beloved pigeons and threw it in his face. Of course, Mike would go on to be one of the most famous, and infamous, champions in boxing (and sports) history.

And through it all, his pigeons and his rooftop pigeon coops remained his one constant and secret solace. In this show, Tyson goes beyond just raising his feathered friends. He will race them for the very first time. With access to the neighbourhood haunts, he grew up in with lifelong friends who surround him.

This docudrama introduces audiences to the highly competitive, bizarrely fascinating subculture of pigeon racing. The stakes are high in a sport that has just as much machismo as boxing. But this time it's not about money; it's about bragging rights.

Tyson said, "Pigeons are a part of my life. It's a constant with my sanity in a weird way; this is just what I do."

Discovery India senior VP, GM Rahul Johri said, "Animal Planet's innovating programming formats and entertaining hosts continues to immerse Indian viewers in the full range of wildlife. In this new series, Taking on Tyson, audiences will get an inside look at pigeon racing with boxing legend Mike Tyson and his love and passion for the birds."

The series profiles the enigmatic Tyson as the boxing legend reconnects with his roots and returns to his childhood neighbourhood to face his next challenge. Now, along with a band of close friends who share his love for these avian athletes, he enters the fascinating realm of pigeon racing.

With new coach Vinnie Torre to guide him, Mike and his team enter their first race competing against two big characters from the New York scene. Tyson's aim is to prove himself as a pigeon man and gain the acceptance of the hyper competitive and macho pigeon racing community. The team also faces one of their biggest challenges - a 350 mile race with over 900 birds.

Supporting the novice racer are the members of Tyson's Corner: Mario Costa, his lifelong friend and promoter/manager; Vinnie Torre, his esteemed and respected pigeon trainer; and the Roman Brothers, his pigeon caretakers. His rivals include the younger yet more experienced racers Joe Green and Helder Rodrigues.

The show offers a window into Tyson's complex life, where the road to self- awareness, the path to inner peace and the vision into the future… is with these birds. The programme highlights his personal journey into the bird world, coming to terms with his past, present and future.

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