REMEMBER fondly the heady days of wrestling being on the telly, bringing together audiences of young and old to watch guys in Lycra with names like Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks appear like they were beating each other to a pulp? This cheap and cheerful comedy certainly hopes you do.

Mark Bolton (Stephen Graham) has loved wrestling ever since he can remember, the proud son of wrestler Trevor “Bulldog” Johns. But due to his parents not wanting him to get hurt, he was never allowed to step into the ring himself.

Following the unexpected death of his childhood wrestling hero Ginger Frost (Jason Flemyng), he discovers that the pub that he now runs is to be torn down, a fact that to his dismay was kept from him by his father (played by I, Daniel Blake star Dave Johns).

So Mark and his dad team up with a ragtag group of local former wrestlers – known as The Panthers in their heyday –in order to raise funds to save the heart of their Yorkshire community from disappearing forever, revitalising the spirit of the sport that Mark loved so much when he was growing up.

Walk Like A Panther pitches itself as a kind of Full Monty for the world of wrestling but that intention is as far as the comparison can really go.

It conjures nowhere near the level of genuine feel-good joyousness, nor does its depiction of down-on-your-luck life or community spirit ring anywhere near as true.

There’s no doubting its heart is in the right place, not least when it comes to a genuine and palpable fondness for the distinctly British Saturday afternoon wrestling event that its characters are trying to recreate – it’s definitely sincere about what it loves and tries its hardest to make sure you do, too.

But the trouble is that it feels like it’s just going through the creaky motions; community goes up against the big bad businessman who wants to tear down something they love, daft training montages and tacked-on life lessons. All of which is set to a series fairly naff jokes that limp, like one of its has-been wrestlers, at most towards a mild chuckle born mainly out of goodwill for a distractingly odd cast made up of a who’s who of British faces, from Julian Sands to Jill Hallfpenny.

By the time we get to the inevitable big wrestling showdown, the initially endearing novelty of the concept has long since worn off.