BBC Natural History Unit


Natural history co-pros unlikely as genre evolves for SVODs

Alastair Fothergill, producer of Netflix’s Our Planet, has warned that SVOD players “will not consider co-productions” around natural history in the future as the digital giants look to plant their flags in the genre. The veteran natural history producer, who left the BBC’s Natural History Unit (NHU) in 2012 to set up Silverback Films, suggested […]

BBC NHU, DHX open The Zoo for CBBC

UK kids channel CBBC has commissioned a ob-doc series in which the animals of Paignton Zoo will star. The Zoo comes from CBBC’s BBC sister division BBC Natural History Unit and Canada’s DHX Media. It will air on UK public broadcast television next year, with DHX taking international sales rights. The 30-part series began shooting […]

BBC, Endemol alum launches Objective prodco

Former BBC Natural History Unit and Endemol exec Gavin Henderson has set up an indie within All3Media production group Objective Media. Henderson (pictured) was most recently creative director at Grant Mansfield’s Plimsoll Productions, where he worked, but is now launching Highwire Productions. The indie will focus on “ambitious” male-skewed entertainment and adventures formats, as Objective, […]

Blue chip to new chip: natural history with bite

Stewart Clarke speaks to commissioners, producers, distributors and digital pioneers about their efforts to reimagine the natural history genre. Alastair Fothergill is the embodiment of blue-chip, making landmark series for the BBC and films for Disney Nature, but he is now seeking to reinvent the genre, out of necessity as much as anything. “When I […]

Ex-Discovery specials chief joins Mansfield’s Plimsoll

Former Discovery Communications and BBC factual programming boss Andrew Jackson has joined Grant Mansfield’s fledgling production company. Jackson has taken the post of executive VP, international production at Plimsoll Productions, which former Zodiak USA boss Mansfield launched in September last year. Jackson will oversee a plan to take Plimsoll into the US market. This comes […]

Eddie Izzard to star in BBC science drama

Actor and stand-up Eddie Izzard will star in a science-themed, fact-based drama for UK terrestrial BBC Two as one of a raft of new commissions. Izzard (Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen) will play British scientist Robert Watson Watt, the inventor of the radar, in Castles in the Sky (pictured). It will sell the story of the […]

MIPJunior Hot Pick: Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures

Andy Day is already known to preschool fans of Andy’s Wild Adventures, in which the kids presenter played a ranger at the fictional Pickle’s Animal Park (actually the UK’s Longleat Safari Park). The BBC’s highly-regarded Natural History Unit is now following up that show with Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures. It will meld images from NHU’s hit […]

BBC One celebrates Great British Year

The BBC’s Natural History Unit is producing a 4x60mins nature series about the changing seasons in the UK over one year. Each episode of The Great British Year will depict the changes in land from season to season and look at Britain’s unique climate and relationship with wildlife. James Bricknell is producing the show for […]

UKTV orders more of David Attenborough’s Curiosities

UKTV has commissioned a second, longer, run of natural history show David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities. The first series of the show was the highest ever rated show on UKTV’s Eden channel. It focused on animals that, for various reasons, have an intriguing biology. The new 10x30mins series will feature two animals per episode that share […]