For over 30 years, I have been a creator of award-winning TV nature films. Many of my films have been about animal and human relationships. I have spent most of my career with the famous BBC Natural History Unit and since 2004 I have been running my own independent production company Aqua Vita Films.
My experience lies in developing new programmes and series for TV broadcasters. I have worked in all documentary formats including “blue-chip” nature and animal-people series, as well as studio-based discussion and live outside broadcast series. I thoroughly enjoy working with teams and delivering quality programmes that have screen impact.
Bernard's key skills.
Creating original programmes for prime-time TV
Overview of current broadcaster’s needs
Organising and managing teams from idea to delivery
Creating budgets and finding co-producers to fund projects
Building relationship with commissioners and talent
Using new technologies to bring new and fresh perspectives to films
Experience as an independent and in-house BBC producer
Writer, director, camera and producer
Studio and live OB director for broadcast and corporate TV.
2021 Producer Director - "Walking The Wye" Aqua Vita Films / Image Lantern Studio
2021 Producer Director "Cricket's Irish Roots". Aqua Vita Films - RTE 1
2019 Producer Director "My Green Valley River" Aqua Vita Films
2016 Producer Director "Ten Thousand Sharks". Aqua Vita Films
2015 Second Camera Unit "Ireland Great Visitor Attractions". Unicorn Films
2014 Associate Producer "York - Historic Capital of the North" Presenter: Michael Portillo. Unicorn Films
2012-13 Creator/Executive Producer of “Elephant King” a co-production with Terra Mater (Red Bull Media) and Smithsonian Networks (USA)
*Fall 2013 CINE Golden Eagle Award Environment Nature Award
2010-11 Creator/Executive Producer of BBC TWO Natural World Special: “Miracle in The Marshes of Iraq” and as “Braving Iraq” PBS/WNET
*Best in Category Award at the International Wildlife Film Festival - Best Conservation and Environmental Issue and Merit for Conservation Message for the BBC version Miracle in the Marshes of Iraq.
*2011 Gold World Medal in the Environment and Ecology category at the New York Festival's International Film and Television Awards
*2011 CINE Golden Eagle Award Environment and Natural Sciences Award
*Finalist WILDSCREEN 2012
2008-10 Creator/Executive Producer/Series Producer 13 x half-hour programmes “Gorilla School” ANIMAL PLANET, narrated by Kevin Spacey
*IWFF, Merit of Honor for Conservation Message "Gorilla School" 2010
2007-08 Creator/Executive Producer on “The Bearman” FIVE, and “A Man Among Bears” NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL, ITV GLOBAL
2006-07 Creator/Executive Producer/Director of “The Wolfman” FIVE and “A Man Among Wolves” NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL, ITV GLOBAL
* 2008 Finalist at Wildscreen
2007 Executive Producer and Studio Director “Farming Matters” series with Jonathan Dimbleby; “Rural Matters” series for HORSE AND COUNTRY TV.
2005 Director "Voice Inside" Short drama. A war shatter British Soldier back from Iraq is in search of a miracle. Cannes Film Festival.
Creator and Series Producer of BBC ONE primetime series
2004 3 x “Time Machine” BBC ONE/DISCOVERY CHANNEL
2002 4 x “Talking With Animals” with Charlotte Uhlenbroek BBC ONE/DISCOVERY CHANNEL
2000 3 x “Cousins” with Charlotte Uhlenbroek BBC ONE/DISCOVERY CHANNEL
Finalist WILDSCREEN 2002.
Creator and Producer of Single Documentaries at BBC:
1988 - 1998 Producer/director of nature programmes for BBC Television: Wildlife On One (Narrated by Sir David Attenborough), The Natural World (BBC TWO) and Wildlife Specials (BBC ONE).
2002 WILDLIFE ON ONE: GANGLAND LEMURS (BBC ONE) Executive Producer. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough
2001 WILDLIFE ON ONE: CHIMPS - TOOLMAKERS OF BASSOU (BBC ONE) Producer/Director. Executive Producer
1998 NATURAL WORLD: EVERGLADES - TO HELL AND BACK (BBC TWO) Producer/Director. Narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith
1998 WILDLIFE ON ONE: SQUIRRELS UNDER SEIGE (BBC ONE) Producer/Director. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough
1997 NATURAL WORLD: ON THE PATH OF THE REINDEER (BBC TWO) Producer/Director. Narrated by Geoffrey Palmer
1997 WILDLIFE ON ONE: SEA EAGLES - RETURN OF THE EMPEROR (BBC ONE) Producer/Director. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough
1997 WILDLIFE ON ONE: BEETLES - RECORD BREAKERS (BBC ONE) Producer/Director.Narrated by Sir David Attenborough
1996 NATURAL WORLD: MANDRILLS - PAINTED FACES OF THE FOREST (BBC2) Producer/Director. Narrated by John Sharpnel
1995 WILDLIFE ON ONE: NIGHT GLIDERS (BBC ONE) Producer/Director. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough
1994 WILDLIFE ON ONE: ALLIGATOR HOLE (BBC ONE) Producer/Director. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough
1994 WILDLIFE ON ONE: GREMLINS OF THE NIGHT (BBC ONE) Producer/Director. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough
1993 WILDLIFE ON ONE: CLOWNS OF THE AIR (BBC ONE) Producer/Director. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough
1992 WILDLIFE ON ONE: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (BBC ONE) Producer/Director. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough
1992 AMAZING ANIMALS: DAYLIGHT ROBBERY 2 (BBC ONE) Producer/Director. Presented by Jessica Holm
1991 SURVIVORS: MYSTERY OF THE MILLION SEALS (BBC ONE) Producer/Director. Narrated by Rula Lenska
1991 AMAZING ANIMALS: THE INCREDIBLE EDIBLE DORMOUSE (BBC ONE) Producer/Director.Narrated by Dame Diana Rigg
1989 NATURAL WORLD: TAMING OF THE EWE (BBC TWO) Producer/Director. Narrated by Joe Henson
1991 UK SAFARI with Magnus Magnusson and Jill Dando Live OB Director
1985 Joined the World Prestigious BBC’s Natural History Unit working as Producer/Director on BIRD BRAIN OF BRITAIN (series) with Simon King, NATURE (series) with Tony Soper, WOLF IN YOUR LIVINGROOM with Desmond Morris, BIRDWATCH series with Tony Soper, WILD BRITAIN series with Simon King
1983 Joined the BBC on the prestigious 2-year Television Production Trainee Scheme, working on HEART OF THE MATTER, TAKE 2 (Christmas Special), TOMORROW’S WORLD, BELLAMY’S SEASIDE SAFARI, WILDTRACK.
Other TV experience:
2006-14 Producer and studio director of discussion programmes for HLTV (Hargreaves Lansdown) and PharmaTelevision at ITV studios, Stock Exchange TV Studios, Financial Times TV Studios.
2006-14 Producer and director of TV coverage of corporate events.
2004 Founded Aqua Vita Films Ltd
1983 Joined BBC Television as a Television Production Trainee.
1982 PhD in Physiology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD),
1977 Honours Degree in Natural Sciences (specialising in Zoology) at TCD
Also: Writer of the book Time Machine (BBC) in 2004 and writer of various newspaper and magazine articles. Photographer of landscapes, animal and people portraits.
COUSINS (BBC ONE) 3 x 50 Finalist at WILDSCREEN 2002
Nature “Masked of the Mandrill” Semi-finalist The Animal Behavior Society Annual Film Festival, USA, 1997 BBC/WNET
Wildlife on One “Clowns of The Air” BBC/National Geographic Television Winner of Grand Prix du Festival, International Festival de l’Oiseau, France 1994
Member of Professional Organisations:
British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
Royal Television Society (RTS)
The Hospital Club, London
Natural History Network