Filming Animals In Love was an eye-opening experience in so many ways. Not only did I witness animal behaviours I hadn't seen before, but it also allowed me to understand a lot more about emotional intelligence in animals.
Until very recently we believed animals were not capable of emotion. But over the past two decades great advances have been made in the study of animal behaviour and we now know that many animals experience emotions like fear and joy.
Visiting Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo was particularly moving for me. Far too many orphaned bonobo babies are brought here on a regular basis because their mothers are killed for the bushmeat trade.
One orphan, only a few months old, was cowering with its adoptive 'maman' (as the dedicated carers of these orphans are called), its eyes as big as saucers as it watched our soundman's boom hovering above us. I asked the 'maman' why he was so scared, and she said that the boom probably reminded him of the guns that shot his mother.
Like humans, bonobos use laughter as a communication tool
I believe that, like a lot of transient people, there is an inherent loneliness about Humphrey.
Humphrey arrived to the island of Saint Marie almost on a whim, looking for a different path in his life. After the shock of his wife leaving him, he realised that he couldn't turn back and threw himself into a new life.
I think it’s interesting that a lot of the new episodes in this series feature loneliness and unrequited love as their motives for crime and I wanted to use some of those as a potential reflection on Humphrey himself. Ultimately though, he is very happy with his life in Saint Marie.
Investigating murders in such an upbeat atmosphere is the theme of the show and it is exciting for Humphrey. I imagine that solving the puzzles that lead to justice and a conviction is exciting for a lot of the police. Of course, solving crimes in such a glamorous location (with a smattering of rum for added spice!) plays its part too.
Are changes afoot for Camille?
Humphrey likes that Camille (Sara Martins), is a…
Hilary Mantel’s books, though written in the third person, are very much told from Thomas Cromwell’s point of view. I wanted to find a shooting style which reflected this. In consultation with our director of photography, Gavin Finney, I decided to shoot hand-held. This allows a great freedom of movement to the camera which, in turn, allows the actors equal freedom on the set.
To cement the sense of being with Cromwell, we rarely enter a room ahead of him, rarely meet a character before he does. The fluid camera follows Cromwell as he moves through the various royal palaces and Tudor houses that are the stage for our drama. It sees what he sees, then comes back onto his face to discover his reaction. This natural, contemporary, point-of-view style of shooting makes Wolf Hall stand out from other recent Tudor dramas.
Mark Rylance read Hilary's books twice in preparation for the adaptation
I think it would be possible to read and watch Wolf Hall with little or no prior knowledge of the period. Our primary objective was to bring to the…
When we first researched ideas for the series Pets: Wild at Heart, we never seriously considered the hamster - our thoughts were mainly on the larger, more popular pets. It was only when I visited the local pet store that things changed.
While looking at the hamsters, one particular fur ball stood out from the crowd. He was stuffing his cheeks in great haste as his cheeks stretched down the side of his body. He doubled in size before my eyes. The behaviour was visually funny and intriguing, so immediately I wanted to learn more about how those cheeks worked. His audition was a success.
Just watch those bulging cheeks stretch back to the hamster's hips!
I wanted Up The Women to feel like a classic sit-com, almost as if it had always been here
In being so uncompromisingly retro filming with a live studio audience, we actually stand out I think. In dealing with the suffrage movement – a subject matter that most people don't associate with comedy I was aware that I had to make it as user friendly and funny as possible.
You can't run and you can't hide when you’re filming with a live audience
For five out of the six episodes we were in the hall, the kitchen or the entrance filming with no time jumps in the story. It’s tough on the cast and…
Susan Jebb is Professor of Diet and Population Health in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford.
She will be answering questions live in the comments below after episode two of What's The Right Diet For You? A Horizon Special.
The comments will open shortly before the Q&A starts at 10pm on Tuesday, 13 January and will finish an hour later at 11pm. Susan won’t be able to answer every question submitted and we also ask that questions and comments fall within the house rules.
Update: The Q&A is now over, thank you for all your comments. To read…
Historian and presenter Lucy Worsley is set to celebrate the 500th anniversary of one of the nation’s finest historical buildings, in BBC Two documentary Britain’s Tudor Treasure: A Night at Hampton Court.
Here, she explores the building’s historical importance and intrigue, and discusses the fate of the infamous characters that passed between its walls.
Back in October 2014, I spent a night in the sixteenth century.
To celebrate the close of 2014, we’re reliving some of the most breath-taking, heart-warming and downright brilliant clips of wildlife on the BBC over the last 12 months. So here are some of the most-viewed nature clips on the BBC YouTube channel this year. (Did someone say pengwings?)
The 13 baby pandas that made our hearts all fluttery
YouTube views to date: 49,907
Take 13 baby pandas, aged from one to four months old, lay them out together for playtime, and this is the result.
In anticipation of BBC Two’s latest animal adventure, Snow Wolf Family And Me, we thought we’d take a look back at our favourite snow animal moments of the past year. But beware – there’s more cute in this blog post than you can throw a really big cute-stick at. Especially if you like penguins.
Gordon Buchanan travels to the remote Canadian Arctic to get close to a pack of wolves. After spending most of his nights alone in his camp with the rest of the film crew half a mile away, Gordon gains the wolves’ trust by adapting his behaviour.…
Writer and Director
In 1975, when I was 22 and on the dole in a bedsit (happy days!), I saw a documentary about the Manchester Children’s Choir who made a record of Nymphs and Shepherds in 1929. The programme featured a reunion of former choir members, now middle-aged, talking about that wonderful day when they had sung with the Hallé orchestra.
The Manchester Children's Choir performance reimagined for That Day We Sang
When I was approached by the Manchester…