A new Darlington-based documentary will be premiering on ITV this week, telling the “powerful” real-life story about a group of working-class men from the region and a racehorse.

It’s Showtime! will reveal what happened when the North East pals decided to club together to buy Showtime Mahomes after having a few beers one night.

ITV teased: “A decision that would change their lives forever when their bargain basement horse, Showtime Mahomes, started winning…”

Alongside Showtime, the documentary will star Kev, Mike, Dog, Jeff, Baz, Ste, Anth and Nick.

What is It’s Showtime! on ITV about?

In May 2022, Showtime Mahomes (named after Patrick ‘Showtime’ Mahomes, the NFL quarterback with 2024 Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs) ran the race of his life, as he defeated a field of high-pedigree favourites to win at York – the Ascot of the North.

An astonishing feat for a three-year-old sprinter with no proven pedigree, owned by a group of men looking to have some fun.

This film sees Showtime's return to the racing season in 2023, starting with his first race at Ripon we follow Showtime’s owners, who named themselves The Muffed Punt Partnership, and their horse's nail-biting bid to return to York to recapture his former glory.

Showtime Mahomes is now four years old and, in his racing prime, but is he able to win again? It’s an almighty ask.

The Northern Echo: Have you been following Showtimes Mahomes' racing journey?Have you been following Showtimes Mahomes' racing journey? (Image: ITV)

ITV added: “Whatever the outcome, these men know they have an unbreakable bond with their horse and each other proving that with friendship, love and a huge number of laughs, anything is possible.”

When is It’s Showtime! on TV?

It’s Showtime! will air on ITV1 at 9pm tonight (April 16) and will also be available to watch on ITVX – the documentary will finish at 10.20pm.

On Radio Times, a review by David Butcher said: “This is a warm, funny documentary, ostensibly about a group of mates from Darlington who bought a racehorse. But it’s really about male friendship and the need for blokes to share emotions, not just beers and banter (though the story has plenty of both).

“The lads hoped their horse Showtime Mahomes might one day race at York. When it won there, they were over the moon. ‘It just blew the lid off,’ says co-owner Baz. ‘It was up there with the children being born. The wife’s going to hate me saying that…’”

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He added: “Director Luke Campbell charts the ups and downs that followed, and how the group members support each other. We join them in April 2023 as Showtime takes another run at glory.”

Nicola Lloyd, commissioning editor, factual for ITV, commented: "This is a very moving and heartwarming story about male friendship, mental health and solidarity, all told through the prism of one incredible and unlikely hero - Showtime!

“To see this group of largely under-represented working class men open up to each other whilst following a nail-biting racing season for Showtime, this film will have you laughing, cheering and sobbing right until the last frame."