World snooker champion Stephen Hendry has been recruited to present a documentary to celebrate the surge in interest in the sport in China.
Hendry, who won 7 times and was the youngest ever world champion to take the title, presents Snooker: Young, Cool and Chinese – a 30 minute documentary which airs on the BBC World Service tomorrow (Tuesday 16th April).
Stephen charts how snooker first arrived in Hong Kong in the 1980s when players like him found themselves hero worshipped overnight.
From there the game entered Communist China at a time when very few Western influences were allowed in.
Today snooker is so popular in mainland China that it is on the school sports curriculum, there are pop songs in its honour and its biggest snooker star, Ding Junhui, is mobbed wherever he goes.
Throughout his career and since his retirement, Stephen has been fascinated by Hong Kong and China. These days he spends a lot of his time touring Chinese cities playing exhibition matches in front of packed crowds.
The programme goes from Hong Kong to Beijing via Sheffield (home of the World Snooker Championships) in search of why snooker is becoming young, cool and Chinese.
Snooker: Young, Cool and Chinese has been produced by the production company Made in Manchester (MIM) and can be heard on the BBC World Service tomorrow at 1.30pm and 10pm UK time.