RONNIE O’SULLIVAN reckons he will deliver a hit show to rival The Last Dance.
The popular 10-episode basketball drama, which followed Michael Jordan throughout his final season with the Chicago Bulls, has set the standard for sports documentaries.
Camera crews in 1997-98 could not have believed their luck that they were witnessing sporting history as iconic Jordan, 59, led the Bulls to NBA glory before retiring.
O’Sullivan, 46, granted David Beckham’s Studio 99 company access-all-areas to follow him at snooker events and at home in Essex since the end of last year.
Some cynics might say his tournament flare-ups and bust-ups with referees have all been contrived to help boost potential ratings, especially as he has worn a mic at the table.
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But there is no doubt that the behind-the-scenes footage of him winning a seventh world title at the Crucible will be gold dust.
O’Sullivan said: “I’m good with pressure, I can pretty much handle it.
“In some ways having the cameras around might have inspired me.
“I’ve always had things happen to me where they just seem to work out. Things seem to fall into place so I’m not surprised that it ended like that.
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“I don’t know if it’s going to be the best. You’ll have to wait and see and watch it!
“What I can tell you is I’ve given them complete access to the point of where if you could put a fly-on-the-wall and follow me for 17 days here, that’s basically what’s happened.
“They’ve been in my dressing room, in my hotel room, before and after matches, after sessions.
“I embraced it because whatever I get involved in, I’m like: ‘Well let’s make this the best we can possibly do.’
“Given the access I’ve given them, they’ve said: “We’ve never ever had that sort of access with any other sportsman.’
“I said: “Okay, great, we’re onto a good start here.’ Hopefully people watch it and enjoy it. It’ll have a good ending.
“I loved that documentary, The Last Dance, it had a dream ending. The guys here have been following me for 6-7 months. You couldn’t have envisaged this, they have had a result really.”
After beating Judd Trump 18-13 in the Betfred World Snooker Championship final on Monday night, the number of people dismissing O’Sullivan claim to being labelled the Greatest Of All Time will have reduced.
He has more ranking titles, more majors, more career centuries and more Crucible wins than anybody else.
Nobody older than him has won a world snooker crown.
Trump, 32, shares the view of many when he thinks O’Sullivan could retain the trophy – eight would be an unprecedented feat – and maybe even go for 10.
The man himself doesn’t think he is the greatest and bats away suggestions he is better than Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry.
What he does have over those two titans, who respectively dominated the sport in the 1980s and 1990s, is his incredible longevity.
O’Sullivan – who played the late Fred Davis, a multiple world champion in the 1940s and 50s, in a competitive match in 1992 – said: “I admire people who have done it over a long time.
“I’ve seen a lot of snooker players come and go over the years.
You’ve got your Federers, Djokovics, Nadals… your Mayweathers, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelsons, Sennas… the ones you have ultimate respect for.
“They come in for three or four years flying and then they disappear.
“You look in other sports, it’s no different with golf or tennis to snooker really. They are all the same principle.
“You’ve got your Federers, Djokovics, Nadals.
“You have your Mayweathers, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelsons, Sennas. All of them type of guys, these are the ones you have the ultimate respect for.”
Ten years ago, O’Sullivan could have easily quit the game given he was in such a bad place mentally.
It is well documented that the intervention of psychiatrist Steve Peters transformed his career and put this naturally rebellious individual on the straight and narrow.
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But what would he have been doing if he had hung up his cue?
O’Sullivan laughed: “I’d probably be in some hot country like Portugal living in a nice beach house coming to the UK once every six weeks to see my family.”