Biographies for the producers of Wild Isles



Team Biographies

Alastair Fothergill – Series Producer

Alastair left the BBC in late 2012 to set up Silverback Films. He was the Executive Producer of a new landmark series for BBC One, The Hunt, which looks at the dynamic relationships between predators and their prey, and Producer of a 3D Giant Screen version of the series, Incredible Predators. He is the Co-Director of Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom released in 2015, of Penguin released in 2019 and co-directed Polar Bear for Disneynature to be released in April 2022. Alastair was a Series Producer for Netflix’s first landmark natural history series Our Planet, which was released globally in April 2019, a Director for David Attenborough: A Life On our Planet, released on Netflix in 2020, and an Executive Producer for the BBC One series A Perfect Planet which aired in January 2021, as well as the Netflix feature Breaking Boundaries, released in June 2021.

Alastair is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and was awarded their gold medal in 2012. He has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Bristol, Durham and Hull. In 2017 Alastair was the BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award winner and he was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019 for his services to Film.

Hilary Jeffkins - Series Producer and Producer of Episode 1 (Our Precious Isles)

Hilary Jeffkins is a keen naturalist and award-winning wildlife Filmmaker, Producer and Director. After graduating from York St John University with a BSc in Biology she joined the BBC Natural History Unit and worked there for over 25 years. In her early career she produced and developed live programmes, including Heading South, Wild Britain and Bird in the Nest, precursors to Springwatch. She has worked with film crews in Britain and abroad, in the field and in studios to produce a variety of programmes including the Really Wild Show (BAFTA), Wildlife on One, Bill Oddie Goes Wild and David Attenborough’s Life in Cold Blood (BAFTA).

In 2011 she became freelance and worked for Humblebee Films, writing, producing, and directing on three series of David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities. She joined Silverback Films in 2017 and a year later started the development of the Wild Isles series. For the past three years she has worked as Series Producer and has also produced the opening episode Wild Isles – Our Precious Isles. Hilary lives in Bristol. She can be found mostly outdoors, walking, watching British wildlife and planting trees.

Chris Howard – Producer of Episode 2 (Woodland) and Episode 4 (Freshwater)

After attaining his Zoology BSc at the University of Edinburgh, Chris had no idea what to do with it so moved to Bristol to see whether working in natural history television might be the answer. He worked on several BBC children’s series before landing his dream job on Springwatch. He worked his way up through the ranks, picking up other work on live productions such as Planet Earth Live, Big Cat Live and Big Blue Live, before taking two years in London to work in the Science Unit and on a 3D film about pterosaurs with Sir David Attenborough. He then returned to Bristol, leading the development and launch of the BBC’s first natural history YouTube channel before eventually returning to his spiritual home as producer and then series producer of Springwatch. For the last three years, Chris has been working on Wild Isles.

Nicholas Gates – Producer of Episode 3 (Grassland)

For Producer Nicholas Gates, a lifelong naturalist, the opportunity to work on a blue-chip series about the wildlife of Britain and Ireland was a huge career goal. Nicholas has worked in natural history television for a decade, on shows ranging from The One Show to Springwatch, to international series for National Geographic and Animal Planet, but he has a particular soft spot for nature “at home” here. Nicholas hopes that this series will surprise the public with the extraordinary wildlife spectacles here in Britain and Ireland, highlight how threatened much of our nature is and encourage people to help restore it for future generations. Outside of his television work, Nicholas is also a published author and keen wildlife gardener.

Gisle Sverdrup – Producer of Episode 5 (Ocean)

Gisle Sverdrup is a natural history filmmaker specialising in programmes about the underwater world. His passion for the oceans has previously seen him film all around the world, working on major projects for the BBC, Netflix and Disney. He combines his knowledge of biology and technology to find engaging stories and tell them in new and exciting ways, often using equipment developed specifically for each project.


Joint Series Producers
Alastair Fothergill
Hilary Jeffkins

Episode 1 Producer
Hilary Jeffkins


Date: Sunday, 12 March, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Updates: Confirmed for BBC One on 12 March at 7pm to 8pm.

Source BBC One

March 8, 2023 4:00am ET by BBC One  


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