Presenter and conservationist
As a child, Saba Douglas-Hamilton grew up around wild elephants in Kenya, thanks to her father, Iain Douglas-Hamilton's conservation work. Now a mother herself to three young daughters, Saba is raising her family in a similar environment and is the subject of BBC Two documentary This Wild Life.
The more you watch elephants, the more you slip into their mind-scape and begin to see the world through their eyes. Most of what I know about them I learnt by osmosis - growing up amongst them while my parents did their research in 70s Kenya. Later on, I was able to match my intuitive interpretations with what I read, which opened my eyes to the deep magic of the natural world.
Spending time with elephants, you appreciate how tender they are to one another: how independently minded each can be; the daily challenges faced by a matriarch as she tries to persuade her family to follow her lead, or her courage in times of danger.
Perhaps what I've learnt most from growing...
Cein McGillicuddy & Andy Kinnear
Top Coppers co-creators
C: For pretty much all of the regular Top Coppers cast, it’s their first kind of big outing - except John Hollingworth, who actually has quite a good role in Poldark and has a significant amount of fans already!
One of the big surprising introductions is Donovan Blackwood as Chief. Donovan has been with us since we created a mini-series of Top Coppers in 2010. We put out an advert online, then he just came and auditioned. He’s a session soul singer and he’d not done much TV acting, except for a part in Casualty where he fell off a ladder and got covered in blue paint about 10 years ago. But he came and auditioned and just blew it away.
Donovan Blackwood has played Chief since a 2010 mini-series of Top Coppers
A: It’s like he was born to be the chief, you couldn’t find a better person. He just is the chief. In every episode we have a song, and most of them are sang by Donovan too. He’s got this amazing soulful, deep voice.
C: Then playing John Mahogany you’ve got Steen Raskopoulos who was nominated best newcomer at Edinburgh Fringe last...
My Fried character, Amara, finds herself being forced to work at Seriously Fried Chicken to be honest. Her dad wants her to learn the value of money. She hates her job, and she’s not very good at it either!
Amara’s a nice girl deep down, she’s just a bit, well, she likes her material stuff. She’s all about nails, big fancy cars, a big house… all of that jazz.
But I think throughout the series you do see her grow. Maturity-wise. Probably more human skills if anything you know.
Amara doesn't think colleague Joe is her type
Her colleague, Joe, secretly likes her. He just needs to have a bit more faith in himself though, bless him! Amara is the type of person who’d only really get with someone who’s sure of themself. Who has confidence in their own looks. And he really doesn’t. That’s probably why she sees him as so sweet. He’s a mate to her, rather than what he wants, which is a relationship.
Is that set to change? Mayyyybe!
There’s something about pop art that tends to get up people’s noses. That was certainly the case in the earliest days of the movement, at the start of the 60s, when paintings by the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein began to be seen in New York. And, to an extent, pop art still polarises opinion today: with its emphasis upon celebrities, consumer products and cartoons, it can come across as superficial. How could a painting of, say, Superman count as a serious work of art?
But pop’s sassy energy and engagement with the real world we all encounter every day is exactly what I love...
BBC TV blog
Those piercing blue eyes have been known to strike fear into many a new baker on the The Great British Bake Off. But a look back over past GBBO series proves judge Paul Hollywood’s tongue can be pretty sharp too...
Here are some of our favourite Paul put-downs:
1: “It looks like a rough plasterer's job.”
Said to contestant Mark Onley (a kitchen fitter and carpenter) about his first bake in series four, Paul showed his hatred of poor presentation.
Mark's first signature bake starts with an oven disaster
Cein McGillicuddy & Andy Kinnear
Top Coppers co-creators
As co-creators of new BBC Three comedy Top Coppers, Cein McGillicuddy and Andy Kinnear have spent the best part of a decade developing the fictional Justice City Police Department and it's two flame-haired cops, John Mahogany and Mitch Rust. As the series kicks off, the pair explain the show's back story and the many, many film and TV references you can expect to see in it...
So, Cein and...
Author and historical consultant
It’s hard to believe that Seymour, Lady Worsley, the woman at the centre of one of the Georgian era’s biggest scandals, was not only a contemporary of author Jane Austen, but also her neighbour in Hampshire. That means the social and legal rules that governed Lady Worsley’s life also underpinned the romantic relationships that Austen wrote about.
As a historian and the author of Lady Worsley’s Whim - the inspiration for BBC Two drama The Scandalous Lady W - here’s why happily-ever-afters like Elizabeth Bennett’s marriage to Mr Darcy were unlikely to have been the...
I wouldn’t say that my taste in music is narrow, but if you take a look at my playlists, finding a song without a guitar in it is as rare as finding a custard doughnut in a bag that advertised itself as jam only. I’ve always appreciated most genres of music, but for me, nothing is better than a loud, shouty, rock song.
This summer however, I’ve heard people talking about the BBC Proms more than ever before. My friends have been raving about the BBC Radio 1 and Frank Sinatra Proms in particular. So with a determination not to miss out AGAIN, I decided to expand my musical horizons and head...
Director and producer
I am a surfer. I have been surfing for nearly 20 years. Being a surfer gives you an obsession with - and an addiction to - the ocean. It is a strong bond that drives me and leads me through life. I spend my first waking hours of every day thinking about the tides, the swell and the wind hitting my home beaches in Wales.
It felt like a gift to make an episode of Atlantic: The Wildest Ocean on...
Producer, director and cameraman
Earth's Natural Wonders: Living on the Edge explores the fascinating stories of people surviving in harsh natural conditions all over the world. Ahead of episode two, Vast Wonders, Nick Shoolingin-Jordan reveals what it was like to live among villagers braving the threat of tigers and killer bees to harvest honey.
Settling into village life
The honey collectors of the Sundarbans forest live right on the edge of the mangroves in southern Bangladesh. While we were with them, we based our four-man crew on a boat which became our home for the entire shoot. It was the only way to film as these...