Planet Earth II – The Making of a Natural History 'Blockbuster'

Elgar Concert Hall - Bramall Music Building
Arts and Law, Lectures Talks and Workshops
Wednesday 29th March 2017 (19:00-21:00)
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Charlotte Gill:

Mike Gunton

The University of Birmingham is pleased to welcome Mike Gunton (Creative Director of Factual and The Natural History Unit for BBC Worldwide and BBC) to campus, to offer the 2017 Royal Television Society Baird Lecture: Planet Earth II – The Making of a Natural History 'Blockbuster'.

In this illustrated talk, Mike will explore and discuss the trials, tribulations and the approach taken to create a landmark series of this scale.

Mike Gunton has been making wildlife films for over 30 years. Within his dual role, he works as an Executive Producer on many BBC titles, acts as an ambassador for BBC Worldwide and is responsible for bringing new stories and filming techniques to audiences. Mike’s work within the Natural History Unit has seen him establish the ‘People and Animals’ output, run The Natural World strand and oversee more than 140 wildlife films including many award winning and critically acclaimed series. These include Yellowstone, Life, Africa, Shark, Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur and Life Story. Mike is also responsible for the Natural History Unit’s most recent success; Planet Earth II

Mike’s series all have his own stamp of innovative storytelling, which use unique perspectives and pioneering technology, evoking wonder, fascination and empathy for the natural world. Africa had people tuning in and tweeting in their millions, and the pufferfish in Life Story went viral, with 32m views, and counting, on Facebook. Mike’s most recent series was the record breaking Planet Earth II, a programme which reached audiences of over 15 million in the UK.

The Royal Television Society Baird Lecture

The Royal Television Society (RTS) Baird Lecture highlights developments in technology which have had a profound effect on production in many forms.

The inaugural lecture was given in 2006 when Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, gave the first lecture - 'BBC 2.0 Why On Demand Changes Everything’. This lecture saw the BBC iPlayer being introduced to the public for the first time.

Previous speakers have also included Martha Lane Fox (founder of, the Embarrassing Bodies Team (Maverick Television) and John Ryley (Sky News).

The inaugural Baird Lecture was held at the University of Birmingham and RTS Midland Centre is delighted to be bringing the 2017 Lecture back to the campus, in the stunning Elgar Concert Hall. 

The RTS Midland Centre Contacts

Vice-Chair and Event Producer: Dorothy Hobson
Tel: +44 (0)7801 018705

Administration: Jayne Greene
Tel: +44 (0)7792 776585

To find out more about the Royal Television Society Midland Centre, please visit