ESPN has brought back the influential interview show Up Close, once made famous by host Roy Firestone. The program will be hosted by SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele and showcases the life stories and personalities of the athletes fans want to know more about. Up Close with Sage Steele is available now on ESPN+ and the premiere episode features Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott, who opens up about the most tumultuous year of his life.
“Since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with what I call ‘the human side’ of athletes. As amazing as they are at their sport, I want to know who they are as people, not just athletes,” said Steele. “As we discussed the vision for an interview show I could host, our executive producer Andy Tennant suggested this was an opportunity to reimagine Up Close, the popular interview show Roy Firestone originally hosted on ESPN in the 80s and 90s. All I could do was smile. What an honor it is to sit in Roy’s chair, some 30 years after Up Close originally debuted! I’m very excited to once again bring the biggest athletes in sports to the forefront in a way that only a one-on-one interview can do.”
Tennant stated: “Bringing back Up Close after all these years is about not only reviving a show that achieved iconic status, but about our commitment to that show’s legacy of storytelling – and the interview as an essential component of that. The new iteration takes the interview and puts it at the center of the storytelling experience for our audience and highlights Sage’s ability to bring out the most in-depth and compelling responses from the most interesting athletes in the world.”
In this episode, now available on ESPN+, Prescott opens up about various topics including his season-ending injury, his experience with depression and anxiety, and the impact of the death of his older brother.