Factual TV in Scotland in ‘very good health’, says award winner

THE executive producer of a BAFTA-winning documentary believes factual TV in Scotland is in “very good health”.

Craig Hunter was speaking in the wake of a win last week for ‘Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die’, which took the Single Documentary prize at the BAFTAs. He exec produced the programme for Glasgow-based independent TV production company, KEO North.

He told allmediascotland.com: “Scotland has long had a reputation for producing top quality documentaries and factual production is in very good health. Some of last year’s biggest hits came from Scotland and the industry is gaining momentum all the time.

“With returning factual formats, like STV’s Antique Road Trip, IWC’s Location Location Location and Phil’s Secret Agent by Raise the Roof Productions, there is great opportunity for production talent to get some vital, hands-on programme-making experience – without having to travel to London.

“And many talented people are returning to Scotland due to the wealth and quality of production from here.

“Just look at the number of production companies who have opened offices in Glasgow in the last few years.

“The BBC recently announced that the new Controller of BBC Factual, Natalie Humphreys, is to be based at Pacific Quay, a real nod to the existing talent base and growing industry in Scotland.”

“It’s an exciting time to be working in television in Glasgow and I’m glad to be part of it.”

Hunter is now at BBC Scotland but is working on a second Pratchett documentary – with the working title, ‘Terry Pratchett: Facing Extinction’ – for KEO North from BBC Scotland.

‘Choosing to Die’ sees Sir Terry Pratchett, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, considering how he might choose to end his life. Travelling to the Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland, the author witnessed first-hand the procedures set out for assisted death.

As well as winning a BAFTA, it has also taken a Scottish BAFTA, a Bulldog prize (awarded by Televisual magazine), plus been a winner at the Royal Television Society.

KEO North is a division of KEO films, which has done several programmes with the chef and food writer and campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

To win the BAFTA prize, ‘Choosing to Die’ saw off competition from 9/11: Day That Changed the World, The Fight of Their Lives and We Need to Talk About Dad.

Adds Hunter of the win: “We were up against some pretty tough competition, so we’re thrilled to walk away with the award. It’s a great film, made by a remarkably dedicated team. We are all very proud.”