I'm a documentary producer, editor, cameraperson and director, working mostly in television and radio. I have won a BAFTA, two Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards, and in my 25 year career I have made documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, CNN, PBS, Vice, ARTE and Al Jazeera, as well as BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.
I enjoy variety in my work and try not to get pigeonholed in one genre or style; what most interests me is telling meaningful human stories with a compelling narrative drive. I've made films about war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing, state repression, eugenics and religious extremism; I've worked with activists fighting FGM in Africa, transgender people tackling LGBT prejudice in India, and war-damaged PTSD sufferers rebuilding their lives; I've explored the art of female singers in Iran and collaborated with actors at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, tackled the fundamental nature of reality with Professor Jim Al Khalili, and examined world history and culture with Dr Bettany Hughes. I particularly enjoy telling stories which lie at the intersection of human rights, art and activism.
I'm an English literature graduate from Cambridge University and a qualified NCTJ senior journalist. I started my career at Central TV in Birmingham in the 1990s, researching and producing current affairs shows with Jeremy Paxman, Nicky Campbell, Sue Jay and others. Between 1999 and 2011, I made over 20 high-profile documentaries for Channel 4, mostly Dispatches and Cutting Edge films. These films include the Royal Television Society Award-winning Prime Suspects for Channel 4 in 1999, investigating war crimes and tracking down the culprits in Kosovo, Bosnia and Serbia. In 2003, I made an acclaimed investigation into human rights atrocities in Iraq with war reporter Sam Kiley, and my Channel 4 Dispatches documentaries on religious extremism gained further nominations for Best Current Affairs Documentary at the Royal Television Society Awards in 2008, 2011 and 2012. In 2004, my Cutting Edge documentary The Child Sex Trade, investigating child-trafficking gangs in Romania, made with Romanian journalist Liviu Tipurita, became CNN’s highest rated documentary ever and won us the prestigious US journalism prize, the George Polk Award for Television Reporting.
In 2012, I teamed up with director Deeyah Khan of Fuuse Films, who was filming her first independent documentary on the honour killing of a young London woman, producing and editing the film, Banaz: A Love Story, to make it into an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning feature length documentary. Since then, I've been executive producer and editor on Fuuse's award-winning films, including Jihad: A British Story, which was nominated for a BAFTA, and White Right: Meeting the Enemy, which won an Emmy in 2018 and was also nominated for a BAFTA. In 2020, we made Muslim in Trump's America, currently nominated for another Peabody Award, and America's War on Abortion, which won a BAFTA Award for Best Current Affairs Film in 2021.
In addition to films on post-conflict states and human rights issues, I've also made a number of specialist factual documentaries on history, culture and science, mostly for BBC 4. These include Mechanical Monsters, with Professor Simon Schaffer, a 90-minute special with Professor Jim Al Khalili on the workings of gravity, and a two-part series looking at the latest theories about the fundmental nature of space and time, looking at quantum physics, thermodynamics and general relativity. In 2019 I directed a two-part series for the BBC on the taboo science of eugenics with Adam Pearson and Angela Saini and co-directed an international feature documentary, Alone, working with the legendary Belarus Free Theatre, examining artists' battle for freedom of expression in Belarus and Ukraine. I've also made films for Al Jazeera investigating police brutality in Tunisia, on FGM in Senegal, and the effects of the conflict in Ukraine, as well a film for Vice News about persecuted atheists facing violence and repression in fundamentalist communities.
While I enjoy variety, my favourite subject is Shakespeare: I am the creator of the podcast To Be Or Not To Be: Lockdown Shakespeare. In 2009, I made a documentary on Shakespeare's Blackfriars Theatre for BBC Radio 4 and I have collaborated with Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to film their educational work with children from deprived London boroughs. I've also made a two-part series on history, culture and literature in the Caucasus for BBC Radio 3 and a film about Syrian refugees in Jordan with historian Bettany Hughes.
I also co-run an independent documentary company, which is making a feature film for cinema release with seed funding from Ffilm Cymru and the Scottish Documentary Institute, and I have also worked with charities, NGOs and theatre companies in documentary production.
I have won a BAFTA Award for Best Current Affairs Film, two Emmy Awards for Best Current Affairs Film, a Peabody Award, a Royal Television Society Award and the Polk Award for Investigative Journalism. I'm also three-times nominated for a BAFTA, and have received a Grierson Award nomination and three other RTS nominations, as producer, editor/executive producer or shooting PD.
My other awards include The Human Trafficking Foundation Media Award (2011), Broadcast Award nominee (2011), National Headliners Award for Investigative Journalism, (2003), The Cine Golden Eagle Award (2004), Prix Europa Award (Special Commendation 2001), the Overseas Press Club Award (2003), the Amy and Eric Burger Award for International Reporting (2003), and One World Media Award (2004).