BBC Studios Factual appoints new head of Natural History Unit
I’m delighted that the world-class credibility and heritage of the Natural History Unit is in such strong hands. Lisa Opie, BBC Studios Director, Factual
A highly experienced producer, editor and executive producer, Julian has worked on world-class content across television, radio and digital platforms for over 20 years. Reporting directly to the Director, Factual, he will be responsible for global brands and content across all platforms, setting and delivering the NHU’s creative and business strategy.
Julian started his natural history career at the NHU, producing series like Battle Of The Sexes and Wild Africa and on radio, Slaves To Nature. On becoming Editor of Natural History Radio he led the development and production of award-winning programmes such as Tweet Of The Day, World On The Move, Saving Species and Migration. He went on to become an executive producer in television, producing hard-hitting journalism Ivory Wars with Panorama and hits such as Tigers About The House.
Julian says: “This is such an important time to lead the Natural History Unit. We thrill our audiences with the extreme close-up and immerse them in the wonderful world of nature; and with people and nature ever more challenged to share the same space on earth, it has never been more important to tell stories of that relationship.”
We are also pleased to announce that Oliver Thompson will take on an expanded role as Head of Business for the NHU. As we enter a globally competitive market, it is vital that the Natural History Unit retains its global standing and reputation. Working to Julian, Oliver will provide vital business leadership.
Oliver has extensive experience of managing creative businesses, post production facilities and driving innovation across BBC production. Currently Head of Production for Factual in Bristol, he has an impressive track record of working with talented creative teams to deliver a range of content, from digital platforms like BBC Earth, to live events like Big Blue Live to global landmark natural history television series like Planet Earth 2.
Oliver Thompson says: “The launch of BBC Studios means the NHU is at a critical point in its evolution and we need to create the right environment for our creative and business teams to thrive. This presents a huge opportunity for us to bring our world-class content to new customers and new platforms, and deliver value back to BBC licence fee payers.”
Lisa Opie, BBC Studios Director, Factual, says: “I’m delighted that the world class credibility and heritage of the Natural History Unit is in such strong hands. Julian brings passion, vision and vast experience to the Unit. Oli will drive the business through this important and challenging transition into the competitive market. Together they’ll make a powerful team.”
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