An artisanal producer of quality broadcast comestibles.
Producer/Director making BAFTA and RTS award-winning and nominated films. Grierson finalist. Experience of most film-making situations; live, long-form observational, short, very short, 90 minute, feature, multi-part series as sole director, series director and self-shooter on all formats for many major world broadcasters and the web.
Hilary Mantel is not a person easily boxed into a standard hour, even a BBC one; she’s an open door you push and then fall through, flying headlong into her world, clutching the map you drew up before leaving home, wondering if you’ll ever find your way back, but hoping you won’t because her version of the film you thought you wanted to make is so much more compelling. Hilary was previously the film critic of The Spectator, a chair once occupied by my other favourite author, Graham Greene and no surprise. Both write books like films. Spending two sunlit seasons trying to make images to accompany her words was a challenge and a joy. Taking possession of the famous message in a bottle titles just made it all the more memorable. Arena: Hilary Mantel, Return to Wolf Hall.
related: PG Wodehouse: The Long Exile
We meet our heroes with trepidation. What if the lion we so admired from the stalls is revealed, in close-up, to have wild hair, goggly eyes and wonky crockery? Of course, working on a 90-minute bio of Ken Dodd presented none of those dangers. The real surprise was how comely young Dodd was. Passing in and out at speed, directing a film that was in reality entirely made by the editor of genius Nick Webb, whose job it has been to wrestle 40 odd and very-odd years’ worth of archive into 89 BBC2 minutes, I’ve been left astonished by how fascinating as a person this son of Knotty Ash was.
Our being the first crew ever to enter the home he was born and died in, and so jealously guarded from prying eyes, was surprisingly heart-thumping, but not surprising at all; a trove of theatrical knick-knackery. We learned from his widow, the very sane Lady Ann, how very un-showbizzy his off-stage life was – hours spent in the library, even more spent on his knees in church, bed by nine with an Ovaltine. It was bit of a relief, hearing that the high-speed schtick stayed in the theatre, that at home, the lion was a bit of a lamb.
related: Confidence Lab
latest on blog
In March 2020
The FT advises that those climbing the walls at home take episodes of BBC 4’s Handmade, on the hour, every hour. Those looking for episodes not on the iplayer will find them here. read more
After many months in dry dock, Victoria and Albert: The Wedding is finally setting sail read more