Secrets of science TV to be revealed

WHAT makes a good science TV show is expected to be revealed this evening at an event being hosted by BBC Scotland at the Edinburgh Science Festival.

The ‘Secrets behind science TV’ is to feature, among others, BBC Scotland’s creative director of specialist factual programming, Jill Fullerton Smith, along with Andrew Thompson, series producer of Jimmy Doherty in Darwin’s Garden.

Also taking part is head of the Children’s Department at BBC Scotland, Simon Parsons, plus Katrina Bryan, who plays Nina in Nina and the Neurons, a science show for four-to-six year-olds.

Says Fullerton Smith: “Getting science programming right is a challenge – we need to meet the demands of a modern audience, to make science entertaining and fresh but also challenge the audience too. There is definitely an appetite for science programming which does that.”

Fullerton Smith joined BBC Scotland as creative director of specialist factual programming two years ago, having spent ten years at the BBC in London.

As an executive producer in BBC Science she was responsible for developing and producing a string of specialist factual programmes, such as ‘Seven wonders of the industrial world’, ‘Space race’, ‘Little angels’ and ‘The truth about food’..

A recent success has been the multi-award winning ‘Parallel worlds, parallel lives’ – made by BBC Scotland for BBC Four.

The film follows Mark Everett, the lead singer of American rock band, The Eels, as he discovers more about his famous physicist father, the genius quantum mechanic, Hugh Everett the Third – who pioneered the ‘theory of parallel worlds’.

The documentary has won Royal Television Society, BAFTA Craft and BAFTA Scotland awards and earlier this year won a Grierson documentary film award for ‘Best science documentary’.

Last month, it also won the ‘Jury award’ at the Celtic Media Festival, a special category awarded at the discretion of the festival’s international jury, for ‘quality of production, direction, technical or craft excellence’.

Adds Fullerton Smith: “BBC Scotland has a recognised strength in factual programming and we are building on that base and have a raft of commissions in the pipeline.”