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NEIL NIGHTINGALE (Director) is the Creative Director of BBC

Earth, the global brand for all the BBC's natural history content. In that capacity, Neil leads the creative development of the brand, including new forms of commercial content such as feature films, giant screen films, 4D experiences, digital projects, live events and immersive exhibitions. He is a co-director of the 3D film Enchanted Kingdom and is executive producer on the landmark BBC TV series Great Barrier Reef.

Neil was Head of the BBC Natural History Unit from 2003 until 2009, before stepping down to return to program making and lead commercial development. In that time the NHU produced a diverse range of award winning programming – approximately 1000 hours on television, radio, online and for the cinema, maintaining the BBC's reputation for definitive and ground-breaking factual shows that inform and entertain audiences.

During that time, he was responsible for the major television series Life, Planet Earth, the Saving Planet Earth season, David Attenborough's Life In Cold Blood and Life In The Undergrowth, British Isles-A Natural History, Wild China, Big Cat Diary, Elephant Diary, Amazon Abyss, Expedition Borneo, Wild Caribbean, Nile, Lost Land of the Jaguar, Nature's Great Events, South Pacific, Steve's Deadly 60, Sam and Mark's Guide to Dodging Disasters, Animal Crime Scene, Springwatch, Autumnwatch, Galapagos, Yellowstone and Natural World. His radio series credits include Nature, Living World, Soundscapes, Gardens of Faith, Changing Places and a major live event, World on the Move and Saving Species. 

Neil also took the Natural History Unit into new areas of online production, , including the ground-breaking Earth News, Earth Explorers, Wildlife Finder, Springwatch and Autumnwatch surveys and the Breathing Places campaign, which inspired hundreds of thousands of people to become involved with nature and build a greener Britain. Its work with BBC Local Radio and Television extended the appreciation of our unique natural heritage into the heart of British communities to connect with local audiences.

During this time, the Natural History Unit also released feature films Deep Blue, The Meerkats and Earth, all of which have been enjoyed by millions in cinemas around the world. Earth is the most successful ever documentary feature film produced in Britain.

Between 1995 and 2000 Neil was Editor of the Natural World strand, commissioning over 100 films from in-house and independent producers around the world. Under Neil's leadership, Natural World programming won the top award at every major international wildlife film festival, won the RTS award for Best Factual Strand and also received their highest ever audiences, regularly featuring in BBC TWO's top ten with well over 4 million viewers.

During the same period he was also executive producer responsible for a broad range of wildlife programming including Wild Africa, Congo, Wild Battlefields and the BBC1 Wildlife Specials, including Lion Spy in the Den, which introduced innovation in style with new technology such as "bouldercam" to capture fresh perspectives and surprising new animal behavior. Meanwhile the Wildlife Specials, Grizzly and Gorilla introduced strong human storylines and Tiger won another BAFTA for the Unit.

Neil also led the Continents series for BBC TWO and was the series producer of Wild Down Under. Three years in the making, Wild Down Under took Neil and his production team almost a million miles, over snow-capped mountains, through lush rainforests, across arid deserts and to the remotest regions to provide the most comprehensive series ever on Australia and its surrounding islands.

As a producer for the Natural History Unit, Neil developed a fresh new style for David Attenborough in Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives.  His award winning Portrait of the Planet in 1990 was one of the first documentaries to take a global view of human impact on the planet, including global warming. In David Attenborough's Emmy Award winning Private Life of Plants, Neil employed revolutionary time-lapse technology to reveal plants as they had never been seen before. Restless Year, a nostalgic time-lapse portrait of the Cotswolds, was the highlight of the Natural History Unit's first ever Natural History Night.

Graduating with a first class degree in Zoology from Oxford University, Neil has always had a passion for the natural world and the species that inhabit our planet, undertaking wildlife expeditions as a student to Borneo and West Africa. After working as a freelance journalist for New Scientist, he joined the BBC in 1983.


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